World War II veteran and Purple Heart medal recipient Duane Sherman, 96, received more than 50,000 cards, letters and gifts for his birthday, after a simple Facebook post by his daughter. Sue Morse, 65, said she wanted her dad to feel special, so she requested over social media that friends send well-wishes for his December 30 birthday, expecting to get something like 160 responses. But as of January 9, Sherman, who has outlived most of his friends and who his daughter said only receives bills in the mail, had gotten tens of thousands of letters from all 50 states and 10 foreign countries. One brightly colored envelope in particular was decorated with a message on the outside that read, ‘Please handle gently, going to an American hero.’ ‘I was amazed, shocked and appreciative,’ Sherman told the Orange County Register. ‘All the good comments people made, it just brightened my day.’ Notes poured in from people from all walks of life, including elementary school students, prison inmates, the secretary of the Navy, the State of Indiana Department of Veteran Affairs, and even the Pittsburgh Steelers. Postal bins packed with envelopes of every color are stacked high on two sofas and the floor of Sherman’s home – and that’s only a few thousand of them. Thousands more are stored at a friend’s house and there are bins still to be picked up at the post office, Morse said. Since her father is legally blind, Morse has been reading the cards and letters out loud to her dad, whose wife of 57 years, Lois, passed away in 2011. The commander of the USS Cowpens, a guided missile cruiser stationed in San Diego, sent a letter and then visited with several officers to take Sherman to lunch. A group of officers from the US Navy Sonar School in San Diego also paid a visit – listening intently as Sherman told stories about his WW II experience. The mail also brought gifts of mementos, like an American flag that flew over Pearl Harbor, a scale model of a battleship and a plaque carved out of wood from the USS. Constitution. ‘It was very gratifying,’ Sherman said. ‘It was hard to believe.’ Sherman enlisted in the Navy shortly after Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941. He was stationed aboard the USS Lamson, a destroyer that saw several battles in the Pacific. Share this article Share So far, Morse has read about 1,700 letters. She will enlist the help of several friends to make sure her father hears the messages in the rest of his cards and notes. Morse hopes to respond to most of the letters.