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Stockton Community Celebrates Marine's 106th Birthday

STOCKTON (CBS13) – The Stockton community came out to honor one of the oldest living Marines on record, celebrating his 106th birthday.

You may remember Major Bill White, who went viral after the world celebrated him by sending hundreds of thousands of Valentine's Day cards to his assisted living facility in Stockton.

On Saturday, he had a parade fit for a king.

"I'm alive, I can't complain," he said.

The Honor Guard, a flag ceremony, friends and members of the community showed up to celebrate Major White.

The celebration was overwhelming for the guest of honor.

"I can't explain it, it's unexplainable," White said.

In what would become known as Operation Valentine's Day, he raked in more than half a million cards and gifts from around the world.

White was also a police officer. Stockton police joined in to show their support.

"Just turning 106, that's a great achievement," said Officer Louie Hammonds. "I'd only hope to make it half as long."

His daughter Mary Houston says his positive attitude and love for people keep him going, and that's why he's seeing so many people celebrating him.

"I just think he represents a lot for the community for the country," she said.

With four generations of family by his side, for White, family is one of his secrets to longevity.

He actually got turned down from the Marine Corps after he graduated college. He says he got into the best shape of his life and in 1934, applied again and was accepted.

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