A WWII veteran wanted 100 birthday cards for his 100th birthday. He got thousands.
By BRIAN NIEMIETZ | New York Daily News | Published: March 4, 2019
(Tribune News Service) — World War II veteran Joe Cuba got way more than what he wanted for his 100th birthday.
He told caretakers at his Texas retirement community that he wanted to receive 100 cards to celebrate hitting the century mark on March 2. After staffers posted a photo of him on social media, birthday wishes came pouring in to Cuba’s Brookdale Retirement Community home.
Sheppard Air Force Base also hosted a pre-birthday celebration in Cuba's honor where he was greeted by more than 100 airmen, according to a statement from the base.
Cards, drawings and letters numbering into the thousands found their way to the veteran, according to ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
He expressed his gratitude not only for surviving the war, but for being thought of on his landmark birthday. He is the son of Czechoslovakian immigrants and the second of 12 children raised during the Great Depression, according to the statement from Sheppard. He volunteered for the Army Air Corps when the U.S. entered World War II, serving in California and on Guam. After the war, he was a businessman. He and his late wife of 65 years, Nida, raised three children.
Birthday wishes for Cuba reportedly came from as far as England and Poland. Some of those cards came from fellow veterans who served with Cuba during his two years in the military.
A birthday photo sent to ABC showed Cuba in a sweatshirt that read “It took me 100 years to look this good” and had an illustrated pair of thumbs pointing upward.
Cuba offered a few words of advice for anyone looking to follow in his footsteps.
“Keep a sharp mind,” he said. “Just stay happy and do what you like to do — and stay out of trouble, of course!"
Brookdale Midwestern’s executive director told “GMA” the outpouring of support couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.