STOCKTON (CBS13) — Valentine’s Day 2020 will always and forever be more than just a sweet gift or box of chocolates for one former marine in Stockton.
Major Bill White, 104, stole the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people when he asked for a few Valentine’s Day greetings this year.
“I find it hard to believe, but they did it, so I have nothing to do but believe it,” White said.
White expected a few hundred cards, but on Valentine’s Day, the Stockton resident woke up to more than 300 thousand notes, gifts and candy from people all across the globe.
“We have New Zealand, we have Australia, Russia, Guam,” The Oaks at Inglewood Executive Director Diane Wright said.
President Trump even sent a special note, and NASA delivered a photo and personalized plaque to White.
But there were a few gifts and cards that really made White’s heart skip a beat, including a visit from a group of marines and even notes from marines stationed at 29 Palms Marine Corps Base.
“They don’t have paper out in the field so they used the cardboard from the MRE’s which are meals ready to eat,” Mary Huston, White’s daughter, said. “They hand-decorated them for my dad. There’s about a thousand of them.”
“I’ve been a Marine for over 86 years, I can’t think of anybody other than that that would come to see me,” White said.
Major White is a hero to children and adults near and far, but it’s his family that is most proud.
“It’s just been so lovely and so overwhelming and it’s affected so many people across the nation,” Alice White, White’s daughter, said.
On this day, Bill is full of gratitude and his heart is filled with joy.
“There’s so many,” White said of the gifts.”All I can think of to say is, ‘Thank you, everyone.’ Period.”