STOCKTON, Calif (CNN) – Major Bill White still wears the same dress blues made in the 1950’s when he proudly served in the United States Marine Corps.
“I spent 30 years active duty and 54 retired,” said White.
Among his many medals is the one he’s most proud of, the Purple Heart, a badge of honor for surviving the battle of Iwo Jima.
“The fact that I even survived is something. There weren’t too many of us,” said the 104-year-old veteran.
On March 3, 1945, Major White led his Marines toward the front lines under heavy fire from the Japanese.
“When I was wounded, I didn’t have any choice in the matter. A grenade blew up six inches from me,” White explained.
His injuries may have taken him off the battlefield, but his fighting spirit carried on in life.
“I’m still here at 104. Can’t complain,” said White.
The California native spends his days dining with his friends in Stockton, staying active, and scrapbooking, which has become of his favorite hobbies.
White keeps his proudest memories tucked away on his bookshelf.
The 104-year-old veteran said he’s hoping his collection grows a little bigger this Valentine’s Day.
White said he wants to add to his collection with cards from people near and far.
“I’ll 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,” he said.
And it is a life story that is still being written. White said the secret is to “just keep breathing.”
“I can’t think of anything else. I can give you all sorts of ideas and suggestions but if you’re not breathing, they don’t mean anything,” he said.
If you would like to send White a Valentine’s Day card, you can address it to:
ATTN: Hold for Maj Bill White, USMC (Ret)
The Oaks at Inglewood
6725 Inglewood Ave.
Stockton, CA 95207