Fred Arsenault, a WWII veteran, served as a private in the Canadian Army and was involved in both the Italian Campaign and the liberation of the Netherlands. This year, Fred is celebrating his 100th birthday, and his son, Ron Arsenault, has made a request for his father to receive some birthday cards.
In an interview with CBC News, Ron shared why receiving mail was so important to Fred. “He was in a slit trench and he would get a letter from his mom,” Ron explained. “So, he would read it at night in the darkness.”
Even now, Fred enjoys receiving mail, which gave Ron the idea for this appeal. “We’d get him the mail and he would go through it,” Ron explained. “Any of the flyers that came, he would be the first one to go through it. So, now he’s going to have some birthday cards to go through.”
“I know the story with my dad that he loves mail, and he said he’d love to get some birthday cards,” he added. “I thought, well, let’s get him some birthday cards.”
Ron posted a photo of his father holding a sign reading “I’m a WW2 veteran about to turn 100 years old on March 6th, 2020 and would like to receive 100 birthday cards.”
Since then, the appeal has been retweeted and reshared many times, including retweets from Ontario Premier Doug Ford, as well as the Canadian Forces in the United States. Mayor John Tory has also shared this post on his Twitter account writing, “Let’s get those cards in the mail to let him know we thank him for his service and wish him a very happy 100th birthday.”
Upon seeing the post go viral, Ron explained, “It’s going to mean a lot to him because when we went to Ottawa [for a Remembrance Day celebration], a lot of time what he would really enjoy is when the children when they come up and thank him for the service.”
“To get these cards from strangers, it’s going to be really, really special for dad and our whole family,” he added.