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WWII Veteran reaches birthday goal -- and then some

Palestine Herald-Press - 7/22/2022

Jul. 21—World War II Veteran and former POW Archie Thomas turned 100 on Wednesday, July 13. He hoped to receive 100 birthday cards. East Texas, with a little help from the rest of the country, stepped up and rewarded him with a number more befitting a gentleman and veteran of his stature.

"Last count we were at about 1,800 and they're still trickling in," said Veterans Land Board Representative Troy Turner.

East Texans know how to throw a birthday party.

"We've received cards from California to Minnesota to Maryland and everywhere in between," Turner said. "But the majority of them have from come from the East Texas community which is awesome and shows great support from them."

Thomas is a resident of Watkins-Logan Texas State Veterans Home in Tyler. He was born in Hearne, Texas and lived in Palestine when he enlisted and went to Ellington Field in Houston for processing into the Army Air Corps.

Thomas served during WWII from September 1942 to July 1945. At only 22, Thomas was shot down over Germany in April of 1944. After surviving the crash, which killed the nine other members of his crew, he spent thirteen months as a POW in Austria. Sgt. Thomas received both the POW Medal and the Purple Heart.

A heartfelt thanks goes out to all who reached out to help Mr. Thomas reach his goal and make his milestone memorable. Anyone who would still like to send a card can do so at the following address:

Archie Thomas

11466 Honor Lane

Tyler, Texas 75708


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