104-year-old Marine surprised with thousands of Valentine's Day cards

Strangers surprise 104-year-old with Valentine's Day cards
Strangers surprise 104-year-old with Valentin... 01:53

Stockton, California — At the age of 104, Major Bill White remains every inch the Marine he was in World War II. He's seen combat, but he's never seen so many valentines. 

Everyday for weeks, Valentine's Day cards and gifts have been arriving by the truckload at The Oaks Assisted Living Center, all addressed to White. It started simply enough, when staff at The Oaks and White's daughter, Mary, made a small request on social media. She said they were just hoping her father would get 104 valentines. 

"The last account somebody ever gave me was 140,000 different pieces," White said.

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Major Bill White CBS News

Now almost every surface at the assisted living center is covered with valentines. They come from school children, veterans and families that know the sacrifice of service.

"Both my father and father-in-law served in World War II," one card says.

She and White read as many as they can. Her favorite is short, but says, "you've stolen the hearts of America." Perhaps never before has Valentine's Day brought one person more affection.

"It's just been beyond my feeble powers of comprehension," White said.

  • John Blackstone
    John Blackstone

    From his base in San Francisco, CBS News correspondent John Blackstone covers breaking stories throughout the West. That often means he is on the scene of wildfires, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and rumbling volcanoes. He also reports on the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley and on social and economic trends that frequently begin in the West.