January 14, 2020

A 104-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served in World War II wants anyone who feels so inclined to send him a Valentine’s Day card this year.

Maj. Bill White told KTXL that he will add any Valentines he receives to a collection of mementos that he keeps organized by year on the bookshelves in his room.

“I’ll save every one of them like I’ve been saving little things that have come up until right now and they’ll be a personal part of my history,” White said.

White said that the Purple Heart that he earned for surviving the Battle of Iwo Jima sits on those shelves as well.

“The fact that I even survived is something,” he said, explaining that he was wounded on the battlefield when a grenade blew up about 6 inches away from him. “There weren’t too many of us.”

But while White said that hobbies like scrapbooking keep him busy, the real secret to his long life is to “just keep breathing.”

“I can’t think of anything else,” he said. “I can give you all sorts of ideas and suggestions but if you’re not breathing, they don’t mean anything.”

If you’d like to send a Valentine to Maj. White, you can mail it to:

Operation Valentine
ATTN: Hold for Maj Bill White, USMC (Ret)
The Oaks at Inglewood
6725 Inglewood Ave.
Stockton, CA 95207

Write to Megan McCluskey at megan.mccluskey@time.com.

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