Veterans who served in World War II are getting scarcer these days. That’s just the way time works, unfortunately. These brave men and women are now reaching the end of their lives, and few of them are still alive to tell their stories.
But one man who served is about to turn 100 years old and he’s asking for a very special birthday present. After all, 100 is a pretty big milestone!
James South lives in a retirement home in Watauga, Texas.
But he kept his independence for a long time, living on his own at his home in East Texas until he was 98 years old. Now, with his 100th birthday on the horizon, he wants something very special — 100 birthday cards.
100 birthday cards for 100 years of life seems fair, and the veteran is taking to the internet to ask for his gift.
His retirement home posted a picture of South holding up a sign with his special request.
“Hello!” said the sign. “My name is James South and I am a proud World War II Veteran! I will be turning 100 on October 7th, 2019 and I would like to receive 100 birthday cards.”
These aren’t just birthday cards for the centenarian.
Written communication, including letters and cards, holds a very special place in his heart. During the Second World War, it was his lifeline back home.
“I had a girlfriend that had been true to me and she had written me a letter. I was gone four years and she had written me a letter every day that I was gone,” South said.
The girlfriend would go on to become his wife, to whom he was married for 55 years.
South was sent to Normandy about a week after the invasion on D-Day where he witnessed some momentous things during the War. Now, he said he hopes that the 100 birthday cards will make him feel recognized for the things he’s done in his life, even the things that happened many years ago.
“It would give me a feeling that I am recognized for what I do, what I am,” South said. “And I would cherish it forever.”
His son and nursing home staff are behind him and hope that people take the time to grant his birthday wish.
“He’s just very focused on sharing and teaching the things that he’s learned and fortunately I’ve been the benefactor of all of that,” said his son, Jim South. “Just showing a little love back for all the love that he has shown for so many years, to so many people.”
The good news is that anyone who would like to send South a birthday card is welcome to do so!
Cards will reach him at 5800 North Park Drive, Watauga, Texas, 76148. With any luck, he’ll have enough people reaching out to him in a way that fulfills his wish for his birthday: to be recognized for all he’s done in his long life.
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