Veteran Receiving Hundreds of Birthday Wishes - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Veteran Receiving Hundreds of Birthday Wishes

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The tiny town of Wishek, North Dakota is home to about 1,000 residents. One of them is Harold Krueger. He grew up in nearby Kulm, enlisted in the Marines and went off to fight in World War II. He came back with several citations and medals. 

"Presidential unit citation, Navy unit citation, good conduct, Asiatic Pacific, this is Korea," says  Krueger.

But his biggest prize was his wife LaVina. 

"She was the one I wanted. And I got her," says Krueger.

They both went back into the military. Harold went on to serve in Korea and Vietnam. Then he became a mailman.

"I got over 44 years. I figured that was enough," says Krueger.

No matter the uniform, LaVina was always by his side. 

"She was a good wife. We had a lot of good times together. She would go to bridge, and she'd come home and we'd discuss hands and how they should have bid," says Krueger.

Last month, she passed away.

"It's very hard. Yeah, I still miss her very much. I tear up fast," says Krueger.

But his wife and bridge partner had one more ace up her sleeve she never got to play.  LaVina wanted to throw Harold a 90th birthday party. Since she didn't get to, one of Harold's daughters tried her hand at social media to cheer him up.

"Maybe if I put it on Facebook, and ask some of my friends if they would send my dad a card he might get a few letters and some mail. So, I gave a little background of his military, and his life and asked. That's all I meant was for him to have a couple letters," says Debra Turner.

But, the post was shared over 650 times. 

And now every morning at 9:30, Harold heads to the post office and unloads letter after letter. This trip there were 72 of them, plus three manila envelopes from schools filled with even more cards.

"The kids, it's fun to read whose those little kids say because their words are from the heart," says Krueger.

"This one is from Greenville, North Carolina, Melstone, Montana, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Coral Stream, Illinois," says Krueger.

"He's receiving a large amount of mail -- literally hands full a day, and I'm pleased to deliver it," says Wishek postmaster, Doris Bettenhausen.

Some are birthday cards, and some are just thank you cards for serving our country. He's even received a few gifts from current soldiers.

"That was nice of them, and it even has my name on it. I better not lose it," says Krueger.

The trip to the post office and the kind words seem to lift his spirits -- truly a gift that keeps on giving. 

"I have heard from other people they're going to continue to write to him," says Turner.

Krueger has celebrated 89 birthdays, but his 90th is turning out to be one of the best.

If you are interested in sending him a card, his address is: Harold Krueger, P.O. Box 176, Wishek, ND 58495.

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