When local and national news outlets shared decorated WWII U.S. Marine veteran Maj. Bill White’s wish for Valentine’s cards at his assisted living home in Stockton, Calif., our U-Haul team was watching and listening.
Maj. White, age 104, is among the heroes who made America what it is today. U-Haul, celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2020, knows something about this.
U-Haul was started by WWII Navy veteran and his wife in 1945 as the war was nearing an end. In addition to co-founder L.S. “Sam” Shoen, many of the first U-Haul Team Members, neighborhood dealers and customers were veterans coming home and looking to move their families to a better life.
Call to Action
In light of Maj. White’s request, U-Haul Company of West Sacramento president Chris Trudell and members of his staff made a Feb. 13 visit to The Oaks of Inglewood to see the retired Marine and Battle of Iwo Jima survivor. Trudell was joined by executive assistant Patty Porter, field relief manager Gil Rosales and computer support specialist Daniel Izumikama.
Team U-Haul presented Maj. White with an oversized Valentine’s card, chocolates, balloons and a bag of U-Haul gifts. The card was printed at U-Haul headquarters in Phoenix, signed by corporate personnel, and delivered to Trudell’s team for West Sacramento Team Members to sign.
U-Haul was certainly not alone in honoring Maj. White. Thanks to widespread coverage of his request, he had an estimated 300,000 Valentine’s cards sent to his assisted living facility, which hosted an open house from 2-4 p.m. on Feb. 13 for individuals to greet and thank him for his service.
“It was a great event to be at, to honor Maj. White,” Trudell said. “We were able to tour the facility, view the 300,000-plus cards and gifts, meet the wonderful staff, and spend a few minutes talking with Maj. White while presenting our gifts to him. It was an honor for our team to be a part of the event and meet a hero like Maj. White and many others at the facility.”
Honoring and Hiring Veterans
Today, U-Haul actively recruits veterans to join our team, and gives veterans preference in the hiring process. A substantial portion of our community outreach goes to honoring veterans and supporting organizations that assist veteran causes.
One of those veteran initiatives is the U-Haul-sponsored Tribute Journey, a project led by Gold Star mother and artist Kathryn Cross, who sends cards of thanks and appreciation to veterans and active-duty military members throughout the world. The card presented to Maj. White was a Tribute Journey design.
Thank you to all of our heroes, past and present, who serve to protect our freedoms.
Finally, if you are interested in joining a veteran-friendly organization like U-Haul, please find career opportunities at uhauljobs.com.