The oldest living U.S. Marine veteran celebrated a major milestone birthday this Friday when he turned 105.
Not even the coronavirus pandemic could stop the drive-by salute his friends, family, and fellow Marines took part in to celebrate World War II veteran and centenarian Maj. Bill White, CBS Sacramento reported.
KCRA reported that the driveway of White’s assisted living facility was decked out in red, white, and blue balloons and that there were socially distanced areas where residents of the retirement community could watch the parade.
After the parade, the retirement community hosted a birthday Bingo bash in honor of White because it is his favorite game.
“Feels just as good as it did at 104,” White said Friday.
White’s positive spirit is the reason there was so much fanfare and love outside his assisted living facility in Stockton, California.
“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. Spent a total of 30 years in the Marine Corps. Just an amazing guy,” Tony Walker, communications director for The Oaks at Inglewood, told CBS Sacramento.
White first stole the hearts of many when he asked for a few Valentine’s Day cards in what turned into “Operation Valentine.”
Since then, he received more than half-a-million cards from around the world, including special notes from President Donald Trump and NASA.
At the drive-by salute, White took in his birthday milestone and is already looking forward to turning 106.
“Right now I’m trying for 106,” he said. “One at a time.”
White says his secret to longevity is keeping his mind active by reading.