A simple question from a Second World War veteran in Texas has turned into an incredible flurry of compassion and well wishes from around the world.
Joe Cuba celebrated his 100th birthday on Saturday at Brookdale Midwestern, an assisted living facility in Wichita Falls, Texas. The party wasn’t just packed with friends and family — there were thousands upon thousands of birthday cards for Cuba.
Cuba told KFDX that he “didn’t expect many” cards when he held up a sign for a social media post requesting birthday cards.
“I’m a WWII veteran who will be turning 100 on March 2, 2019. I would like to receive 100 birthday cards,” the sign said, along with an address to the facility where he resides.
What started out as a question from veteran Joe Cuba has turned into 50,000 cards and counting.
Brookdale Midwestern staff had to open a vacant room to store all the greetings. Executive director Jarvis Polvado said some cards made their way across the globe — including one envelope filled with 50 cards from Puerto Rico.
“We’ve gotten a card that came from Hong Kong,” Polvado added. “Just a single card, and they spent US$300 to express mail it from Hong Kong so he would get it in time for his birthday.”
Wichita Falls Mayor Stephen Santellana also declared March 2 “Joe Cuba Day.” According to NBC, Cuba received gifts from Major League Baseball, NASA, NASCAR and a letter from U.S. President Donald Trump.
But what Cuba inspired at the State Capitol may be the most impressive — a card signed by every Texas state senator.
“We got 31 signatures in one day,” State Sen. Pat Fallon said. “You can’t get 31 state senators to sign anything in one day. Joe did that. Joe Cuba did that.”
The Airpower Foundation provided Cuba and four other veterans living at Brookdale Midwestern a life chest through which to pass memories on to future generations.
“I have been exhausted just watching it all come out in virtual reality, and being here is even more overwhelming,” Lee Cuba said at his father’s party. “It’s an unbelievable outpouring from every direction.”
Happy birthday, Joe.
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