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104-Year-Old Vet Who Never Celebrated Valentine’s Day Surprised With Over 70,000 Valentines

Some folks can’t wait for Valentine’s Day and all the trappings. Others? It’s just another manufactured holiday they don’t need in order to show their love. William White, also known as “Major Bill,” and his wife fell in the latter category. For the 42 years the two were married, they never exchanged cards or celebrated.

But thanks to an internet campaign, Major Bill is getting his first Valentine’s Day—including more than 70,000 love letters, cards, and well-wishes from all across the world.



“It’s just too fantastic,” White told Reuters. “It’s something I’ve never heard of or seen. All of a sudden here, like a ton of bricks. I’m sort of speechless.”

White, who is 104, was awarded a Purple Heart after he fought at Iwo Jima during World War II. After 35 years of active duty, he now lives at an assisted living facility in Stockton, California where he is a popular member of the retirement community.

White received the valentines after one of his fellow residents organized a social media campaign called “Operation Valentine.” The goal? Getting friends, family, and complete strangers to send at least 100 Valentine’s Day cards to White.


Mission accomplished—and then some!

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