STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — At 104 years old, Maj. Bill White says it’s the sentimental things that count. It’s why he called on his Stockton community to send him a few Valentine’s Day cards for his scrapbook collection.
Little did he know that the thank-you notes would come from across the country and as far away as South Korea and Australia.
“I’m as close to speechless as possible. I really don’t know what to say or what I can say,” Maj. White said the day before Valentine’s Day. “It’s something that I’ve never had before and I’ll probably never get again.”
He has received more than 300,000 handwritten messages — and counting.
“It’s amazing, no doubt about it,” White told FOX40.
They came from all 50 states and dozens of countries.
“It’s something that’s just hard for me to believe,” the World War II veteran said.
His daughter, Mary Huston, said they’ve been busy sorting through every box and reading every card.
“Very much surprised. This is not what we expected,” Huston said. “Very honored, very honored and so appreciative to everyone for everything that they have sent.”
Among the many letters Maj. White received were three sent from the commandant of the Marines Corps, the U.S. secretary of defense and the president of the United States.
Thoughtful tributes once intended for a scrapbook took on a new meaning and summed up the legacy and the impact of one United States Marine.