According to CBS Sacramento, when asked how he felt on his big day, July 31, the centenarian replied with glee, “Feels just as good as it did at 104.”
Amid the restriction put in place due to the ongoing CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, pandemic, his family or friends weren’t able to visit him at his Stockton Assisted Living Facility. However, they didn’t let that stop them from getting creative and coming up with a unique way to celebrate Major Bill’s big birthday.
Family, friends, and strangers made his day a one to remember by giving him a drive-by salute as he sat outside the care facility donned in his military uniform with balloons and U.S. flags as the backdrop.
Alluding to this remarkable celebration, Major Bill’s daughter, Mary Huston, said: “It’s very heartwarming and very [sic] and it just does get to you that there are so many people that love him and appreciate him for his service.”
The young-spirited veteran had served with the Marine Corps for a period of 30 years. “He was in Shanghai before WWII and the Japanese invasion and all that. Iwo Jima got hit – blown up with a grenade. Recovered from that,” communications director at the Oaks at Inglewood Tony Walker said. “Just an amazing guy.”
Major Bill had also received a Purple Heart for surviving the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945, which killed nearly 7,000 U.S. Marines and more than 20,000 Japanese fighters, according to KTXL.
“The fact that I even survived is something. There weren’t too many of us,” Major Bill had said earlier this year.
Many from Stockton would recognize this positive veteran after he stole hearts with his heartwarming plea in February this year requesting people to send him cards for Valentine’s Day as he wanted to expand his collection of memories. The veteran vowed to “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.”
In what came to be known as “Operation Valentine,” the loving veteran received more than 500,000 cards along with gifts from around the world. Major Bill even got a personal note from NASA and President Trump.
At 105, Major Bill enjoys dining with friends in Stockton, staying active, and scrapbooking, which is apparently one of his favorite hobbies.
As for the secret to his longevity, the former Marine credits his reading habit to keep his mind sharp in an interview with CBS Sacramento.
While touching 105 is certainly an incredible feat, Major Bill is already looking forward to celebrating his next birthday.
“Right now I’m trying for 106,” he said. “One at a time.”
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