Despite 96 years old being an impressive milestone for this WWII veteran, Duane Sherman had been disheartened about his impending birthday.

Since the Purple Heart recipient has spent much of his life without social media or texting, he is used to handwritten letters being the primary method of communication amongst his peers.

So in the weeks leading up to his birthday on December 30th, Sherman hoped to receive a few birthday cards in the mail. Because many of his friends have passed away, however, the veteran was saddened by the lack of letters in his mailbox.

His daughter Sue Morse then took to social media with a plea for strangers to brighten her father’s day with a simple birthday card – and the internet was quick to respond.

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The post was shared so many times, Sherman ended up receiving over 50,000 cards and letters from strangers across 50 states and 10 countries.

Needless to say, the veteran was delighted. He says that the outpouring of love and appreciation was the equivalent of receiving a Christmas, birthday, and New Year’s gift all wrapped up into one.

“I’ll have a hell of a time reading them,” laughed Sherman in an interview last month.

(WATCH the news coverage below or our international viewers can watch the footage on the CBS news website) – Photo by CBS News

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