WICHITA FALLS, Texas - A Wichita Falls World War II veteran is getting his birthday wish and so much more.
All Joe Cuba wanted for his 100th birthday was 100 cards.
His birthday wish went viral after it was posted on social media a couple of months ago.
The former staff sergeant has now received more than 30,000 greetings, many from around the world.
They even had to set up a special room at his nursing facility to house all the cards he’s received.
“This is the Joe Cuba room. I feel a little overwhelmed. There’s probably over 10,000 birthday cards, postcards, and he’s gotten well over 100 gifts,” one worker at the nursing facility said.
When asked if he’s received the 100 birthday cards he asked for, Cuba joking responded, “I bet I have.”
“Wonderful. I think it’s great that um, it makes me really feel good that people know me and think about me, and wish me well,” Cuba said.
“A lot of people are inspired by you,” one of the cards said. “Thank you for your service to this great nation,” was the message written in another card.
“No, I didn’t expect [the cards]. No, I really didn’t. But that was nice. People are very good, and gentle, and helpful. I appreciate that,” Cuba said. “A lot of people need a little help and a few good words.”
As he gets ever closer to reaching triple digits, Cuba reflected on how lucky he is to still be here.
“I must have been 19 or 20. I was in the Air Force in World War II,” Cuba remembered. “Well, it wasn’t pleasant, but I got it in my mind that I had to do it whether I like it or not. It had to be fought and it had to be done, and that’s how I was brought up. Somehow, I was just fortunate. I’m here. I didn’t get hit. I came awfully close.”
Among the cards and letters Cuba has received is a giant birthday card signed by 31 Texas lawmakers, including a signature from Governor Greg Abbott.
Cuba will celebrate his 100th birthday on Saturday at his nursing facility in Wichita Falls.
If you would like to send Joe Cuba a card, you can send it to the following address:
918 Midwestern Parkway
Wichita Falls, TX 76302