Local World War II veteran receives more than 1,000 cards for 103rd birthday

Orland Phillips said he reads every single one of them

Orland Phillips said he reads every single one of them

WILLIS, Va. – Orland Phillips turns 103 on Saturday, Feb. 5. Since he can’t have a big birthday bash, his family posted on social media asking the community to send him birthday cards. Their hope was to get at least 103 cards. So far, Phillips has received more than 1,000 cards from almost every state in the U.S.

“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.

Phillips has four daughters who helped spread the word about his birthday. They say they had done something similar a couple of years ago and had a pretty good response, but when they did it again, they never expected this.

His family has a system in place to keep all the cards organized. He reads a stack a day and pays attention to who wrote the card and where it came from.

Phillips is a World War II veteran who served in the Army as a machinist. Most of the birthday cards sent to him have a patriotic theme and say “thank you for your service.” His family realizes this is special because it might be the last time that some people will get the chance to thank a World War II veteran.

The Army veteran says he is so thankful for all the cards everyone has sent. He has been so busy the past couple of days reaching each card. Phillips says that is all he can think about.

Phillips has even received homemade cards from second graders in the area.

“It is a good pastime. I am glad to see them,” said Phillips.

If you’d like to participate, you can send him a funny, silly card to Orland Phillips, 124 Homestead Rd, Willis, VA. 24380.

About the Author:

Brittany Wier joined the 10 News team as the morning reporter in August 2021.