Advancing National Service

Thousands of Strangers Made This War Veteran’s 90th Birthday Extra Special

March 3, 2014
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Thousands of Strangers Made This War Veteran’s 90th Birthday Extra Special
Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Harold Krueger was devastated after losing his wife of 63 years. So his daughter found a heartwarming way to cheer him up.

Harold Krueger served as a Marine for 44 years, fighting for the U.S. in three wars — World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He even earned some medals for his service. But his greatest prize of all was his wife, LaVina. Together, the couple of 63 years moved around the country during Krueger’s military service — from San Diego to New Orleans to Port Royal, SC, to Jacksonville, NC — before finally settling in Wishek, ND, in 1986. They were partners, in bridge games and in life. So when LaVina passed away last month at the age of 86, Krueger was devastated. “She was the one I wanted. And I got her,” Krueger told KFYR. “It’s very hard. Yeah, I still miss her very much. I tear up fast.”

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Since LaVina wasn’t able to throw her husband the 90th birthday celebration that she had planned, their daughter, Debra Turner, stepped in with an idea to make the day extra special. She took to Facebook, asking her friends and acquaintances if they would send Krueger a card or letter for his birthday. She included some background about his military services, and of course, about his beloved LaVina. Her post ended up being shared more than 650 times. “All I meant was for him to have a couple letters,” Turner said. But the former mailman received a lot more than that. Every morning, Krueger goes to the post office and pulls out stacks of letters, cards and gifts. He has received more than 1,000 well wishes thus far, from 48 states and Canada, according to Turner’s Facebook post from February 23, two days after his official birthday. And they keep coming.

You can write to Krueger at: Harold Krueger, PO Box 176, Wishek, ND 58495.

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