World War II veteran and Purple Heart recipient Maj. Bill White, who at 104 is believed to be the oldest living Marine, has received a remarkable outpouring of cards and support from around the world after asking the public for Valentine's Day cards. "It hit me like a ton of bricks. I still can't get over it," he said. (CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD)

STOCKTON — Diane Wright opened the door of an apartment at The Oaks at Inglewood, the assisted care facility in Stockton where she is the executive director. Inside, three people busily went through postal trays crammed with envelopes near a table heaped with handmade gifts, military memorabilia, blankets, quilts, candy and the like.

Operation Valentine has generated a remarkable outpouring of support from around the world for retired United States Marine, Maj. Bill White. Earlier this month, a resident at The Oaks, Tony Walker, posted a request on social media to send Valentine's Day cards to the 104-year-old World War II veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart.

Walker believed Maj. White would enjoy adding the cards to his collection of memorabilia. The response has been greater than anyone ever thought possible.

Read More
Michael Karkoc spends some time working in his yard in Minneapolis, Minn on Friday May, 23 2014. (Minneapolis Star Tribune/ Richard Sennott via Associated Press)

For decades, Michael Karkoc was a pillar of the Ukrainian community in northeast Minneapolis, a beloved neighbor and a leader of the local church, lending his carpentry skills to countless projects at St. Michael's and St. George's, a Ukrainian Orthodox congregation.

But his quiet retirement was shattered in 2013, when the Associated Press reported that he led a Ukrainian detachment serving under Nazi command in World War II that was accused of committing atrocities, a charge his family vehemently denied even as German and Polish prosecutors prepared cases against him.

Karkoc won't ever face those charges. According to a death certificate filed in Hennepin County, he died Dec. 14 in a Minneapolis assisted living facility at the age of 100.

Read More
Holocaust survivor Vera Grossman Kriegel, 81, shows an image of herself as a child after the liberation of Auschwitz during an interview with Reuters in Oranit, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank January 12, 2020. Picture taken January 12, 2020. (REUTERS/Nir Elias)

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A strip of skin tattooed with the Auschwitz death camp number 99288 sits in a silver frame on a shelf in Avraham Harshalom's living room. It is his prisoner number, etched on to his forearm in 1943.

As the 75th anniversary of the camp's liberation on Jan 27, 1945, nears, Harshalom, 95, is very clear about why he kept it.

"For history. To tell it to the next generations," he said. "In Auschwitz nobody knew names. The German SS (officer), when he was talking to you, he was talking to a number."

Read More
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) transits the Atlantic Ocean, Dec. 12, 2018. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Swofford)

The Navy plans on naming its fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier after World War II hero Doris 'Dorie' Miller, an African-American sailor recognized for his heroism during the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor — and not everybody is happy about it.

Read More
The barnacle encrusted WWII land mine that a Florida woman mistook for a porcelain plate (Facebook photo)

After discovering what she thought might be a porcelain plate from a sunken ship, covered in a hardened crust of shells and barnacles, beachcomber Jayne Wilson spent months chipping away at a World War II-era land mine.

Thankfully, this story doesn't have an explosive ending.

Read More
U.S. service members celebrate Christmas Eve near what is now Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana, on Dec. 24, 1942. (Flickr/John Atherton)

America's battle against alcohol in the 1920s failed to attract many foreign allies and ended in defeat. By the time World War II broke out, the nation's short-lived prohibition experiment had long ended. In some countries, such as France, drinking had been celebrated and encouraged during the interwar years, and consumption surged. Indeed, the French remained so devoted to their wine that securing enough wine for the troops was deemed essential to mobilizing for the next war. A third of the country's railroad cars designed to carry liquid in bulk were reserved for transporting wine to the front lines. When Germany attacked France in May 1940, 3,500 trucks were tasked with delivering two million liters per day to the troops.

But when France fell to the Germans within two months, praise turned to condemnation. Wine was blamed for making the country soft. Philippe Petain, the WWI hero who had credited wine for saving France, now pointed a finger at drunkenness for "undermining the will of the army." He became the leader of the collaborative government of Vichy, where new restrictions on the sale of alcohol were quickly imposed, including setting a minimum drinking age for the first time (no one under 14 could purchase alcohol).

Read More
© 2018 Hirepurpose. All rights reserved. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service.