How does it feel when the world celebrates your birthday with you?
Not everyone can reach the age of 80, so what more when one reaches the age of 103?
Living a “full life” won’t be enough to describe the journey. And it’s so significant that everyone just had to pitch in.
Orland Philipps laughed at one of the cards he received. The World War II veteran opened the card that said, “Growing up is mandatory.”
Philipps has just turned 104 this year.
He celebrated his 103rd birthday last February 5, 2022.
And as a part of his centenarian celebrations, his daughter asked people worldwide for one thing.
Philipps’ four daughters took to Facebook to spread the good news. And to celebrate their father’s milestone, they asked people to send him birthday cards.
They said they’ve done the same thing a couple of years back and people responded warmly to the invitation.
Last year, Philipps received a ton of these cards,
“I don’t know what to think about all that many cards. I have been working on reading them. I read every one of them,” said Phillips to the local news outlet.
To keep up with the cards, his family made a system to compile, organize, and keep the cards. This helps Philipps appreciate everyone’s well wishes.
They said Philipps reads a stack of cards per day and takes time to appreciate who wrote the card and where it came from.
Philipps served in the Second World War as a machinist for the army.
Because of this, he also receives cards with military themes and cards that express gratitude for his services.
The family also said that this project is special because this might be the only chance some people could get to thank a veteran from the 1940s.
“I was never in actual combat, but I witnessed bombers fly over at night, keep us in the foxhole, and keep us from sleeping,” Phillips said to a local news station.
Now, Philipps describes himself as an overripe hillbilly. He still has his discharge papers with him.
As a soldier, he never saw much combat but worked in intense conditions. He was assigned to different islands in the Pacific, such as New Guinea.
His daughters said the project was something they’d do again.
“We’d definitely send him a card,” one of his daughters said, as quoted by Sky News Australia.
“We’ll send a request saying, ‘This means so much to him.’ We’d definitely do that in the future.”
The thousands of cards he received came from different places, 45 different states and with some of them coming from four different countries.
Phillips plans to spend the rest of his days sending out thank-you cards to all of his fans.
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