STOCKTON, CA (CNN)- A WWII veteran in California has one wish for Valentine’s Day. He wants as many people as possible including complete strangers to send him a card.
He says the cards will be part of his long personal story whose final chapters are yet to be written.
From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, Major Bill WHite still wears the same dress blues made in the 1950s when he proudly served in the United States Marine Corps.
Maj. Bill White (Ret.), WWII Veteran: “I spent 30 years active duty and 54 retired.”
Among his many medals is the one he’s most proud of, the Purple Heart, a badge of honor for surviving the battle of Iwo Jima.
“The fact that I even survived is something. There weren’t too many of us.”
On March 3, 1945, Major White led his Marines toward the front lines under heavy fire from the Japanese.
“When I was wounded, I didn’t have any choice in the matter. A grenade blew up six inches from me.”
His injuries may have taken him off the battlefield, but his fighting spirit carried on in his life.
“I’m still here at 104. Can’t complain.”
At 104, the California native spends his days dinging with his friends in Stockton, staying active and scrapbooking in what’s become his favorite hobbies. He keeps a lifetime full of memories carefully preserved on these bookshelves in his room, each organized by year.
“It’s kept me busy, just trying to keep track of everything that’s happened to me where and when.”
And this Valentine’s Day, Major White is hoping to add his collection with cards from people near and far.
“I’m going to save every one of them just as I did everything else up until now, and they’ll become a personal part of my history.”
A life story that’s still being written. The secret?
“Just keep breathing. I can tell you all sorts of ideas and suggestions, but if you’re not breathing, it doesn’t mean anything.”
If you want to send Major White, you can send it to: Operation Valentine ATTN: Hold for Maj Bill White, USMC (Ret) The Oaks at Inglewood, 6725 Inglewood Avenue, Stockton, California, 95207.