The Associated Press reports that 101-year-old World War II veteran John Frey was humbled and astonished after he received more than 5,000 cards from appreciative strangers for his recent birthday.
Frey's family put out a request for cards in a local newspaper. The ad went viral and the family was expecting 500 cards at the absolute maximum, but instead received 10 times that amount. "The cards came from all 50 states and at least 12 countries. Entire classrooms of children, military veterans and Utah’s elected officials wanted to wish the former mechanic/machinist for the U.S. Army a happy birthday," the AP reports.
“These have been overfilled with letters and packages and everything for him,” Jeanne Waters, the front desk receptionist at the Mervyn Sharp Bennion Central Utah Veterans Home where Frey lives, said of two tubs she had to request from the Post Office to accommodate all the mail. “It’s been fun. It really has.”
As reported by WTOP, "Frey celebrated with family and friends last week at the at home. His daughter Janice Carlson helped him use a letter opener to open one envelope including a sea shell and a note," she added.
“Holy mackerel!” Frey exclaimed after opening one card that played music, the local media explained.
However, Frey apparently is a little wiped out from the abundance of mail. He told reporters that he just wanted to get in his car and go for a drive for a while, a leisurely activity that he enjoys.
As noted by the National World War II Museum, heroes from this war "are dying quickly—according to US Department of Veterans Affairs statistics, 496,777 of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II are alive in 2018."
Happy belated birthday, John Frey! Thank you for your service.