WWII veteran celebrates 106th birthday in Stockton

Local News

STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) – One of the United States’ oldest living Marine veterans celebrated his 106th birthday Saturday.

“I’m OK. I’m alive and breathing, can’t complain,” Maj. Bill White told FOX40.

White celebrated his birthday with his daughters, Alice and Mary, along with a large group of fellow Stockton community members who put a parade together in his honor.  

While reaching his age might be a day to remember, White said there’s one day that tops the list, when he survived the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II.

“I think it was the 19th of February, 1945,” White recalled.

White said he enlisted in the Marine Corps back in 1934 and spent 30 years on active duty.

During that time, he earned many commendations, including the Purple Heart.

White has been retired the last 56 years.

His daughter, Mary Houston, told FOX40 she wants to make sure White’s remaining birthdays are all special.

“We’re very proud of him, of course,” Houston explained. “I think the parade is great, especially now, with not wanting to get too many people too close to him but a lot of people can celebrate with us.”

Saturday’s celebration was no exception as dozens of cars drove by to wish White a happy birthday. White’s family says he’s already looking forward to the next one.

FOX40 asked White what’s the secret to his longevity.

“Keep breathing,” White answered.

White said that as each holiday and birthday passes, he always appreciates the overwhelming amount of cards he continued to get from people all over the country.

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