Maj. Bill White is making the request that those who are willing, send him a Valentine’s Day card this year. White is a 104-year-old US Marine Corps veteran who served in World War II and survived the Battle of Iwo Jima. “I’m still here. I’m 104. Can’t complain,” White said.
Maj. White earned a Purple Heart for surviving the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. The battle was between the US Marines and the Imperial Army of Japan and lasted five weeks. By the end of the bloody battle, there were nearly 7,000 US Marines and more than 20,000 Japanese fighters recorded deaths.
He still regularly wears his dress blues from the 1950s.
“The fact that I even survived is something. There weren’t too many of us,” he said, explaining that he was wounded on the battlefield when a grenade blew up about 6 inches away from him. After his 30 years in service, he was abruptly forced to retire due to injuries, commenting, “When I was wounded, I didn’t have any choice in the matter.” He still regularly wears his dress blues from the 1950s.
These days, he spends his time dining with friends in Stockton, staying active and maintaining hobbies. Though, according to White, the real secret to his long life is to “just keep breathing.” The young-spirited vet added, “I can’t think of anything else. I can give you all sorts of ideas and suggestions but if you’re not breathing, they don’t mean anything,” he said.
So, why is he asking for Valentine’s from strangers?
White’s favorite hobby is scrapbooking. He keeps a lifetime full of memories carefully preserved on the bookshelves in his room, each organized by year. “It’s kept me busy just trying to locate or keep track of what’s happened to me, where, when,” White explained.
This year he wants to expand his collection of memories by asking people near and far to be a part of his personal history. He hopes people will send him cards with a little message so he can add them to his scrapbook. “I’ll save every one of them…and they’ll be a personal part of my history,” White said.
If you’d like to send some love to Maj. White, please mail it to:
ATTN: Hold for Maj Bill White, USMC (Ret)
The Oaks at Inglewood
6725 Inglewood Ave.
Stockton, CA 95207