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Bright Spot: Tuskegee Airman receives thousands of birthday cards

Tuskegee Airman receives thousands of birthday cards
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 5:41 PM EDT
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(WFSB) - A man believed to be Rhode Island’s last surviving member of the Tuskegee Airmen turns 100 years old this month, and he asked for birthday cards.

Since then, thousands of cards have poured into retired Sergeant Victor Butler’s home in Cranston, RI.

“People are very, very nice. Counting the cards is amazing,” said Victor’s wife, Senora.

The World War II veteran becomes a centenarian on May 21st. His family estimates about 12,000 cards have been mailed in so far.

“I don’t think I’ll ever get through reading the cards,” said Victor.

According to his daughter, Michelle Depeza, the family has received cards from 41 states, and they want to hit all 50.

And they have a whole process. She opens the cards, Senora counts them, and Victor reads them.

Each card is different from the last, ranging from hand-drawn art from kids to even some asking if Victor is taken.

“Whoever is interested in him, well, sorry he’s married, and we are happy,” jokes Senora

But some of the most heart-warming, the Butlers say are apologies rom the past.

“They will explain that they realized what he went through, and they apologize for their ancestors. That makes you feel good to know that daddy actually made a change.”

Butler was a mechanic with the Tuskegee Airmen. He couldn’t fly overseas because he caught the flu, so instead, he stayed back to work on fighter planes.

“I enjoyed helping the pilots get in the plane and watching them take off, and I enjoyed testing the planes out myself that was the best part of it.”

A picture from an artist, a red, white and blue blanket from a quilter are just a few of the many gifts that Butler has received so far, and he and his family are grateful.