‘Feels just as good as it did at 104’: Oldest living Marine celebrates 105th birthday with drive-by salute

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STOCKTON, Calif. (WJW) — The man believed to be the oldest-living Marine is celebrating his 105th birthday.

KOVR reports Major Bill White turned 105 years old on Friday, and he was celebrated with a drive-by birthday salute at his assisted living facility.

“Feels just as good as it did at 104,” he said.

Tony Walker, communications director at The Oaks at Inglewood, said White spent a total of 30 years in the Marine Corps.

He served in World War II and survived the Battle of Iwo Jima. Among many medals he was awarded is a Purple Heart.

His family members haven’t been able to visit him much because of the coronavirus pandemic, so they were thrilled to be able to participate in the drive-by.

“It’s very heartwarming,” said his daughter, Mary Huston. “It does get to you that there are so many people that love him and appreciate him for his service.

White stole hearts across the world on social media back in February when he asked for Valentine’s Day greetings.

In what eventually became known as Operation Valentine’s Day, he brought in more than half a million cards and gifts from around the world, including a special note from NASA and President Donald Trump.

White now is already looking forward to his next big celebration.

“Right now, I’m trying for 106,” he said. “One at a time.”

When asked, White said one of his secrets to longevity is that he keeps his mind sharp by reading.

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