KEWAUNEE, Wis. (WFRV) Birthday cards are coming in by the hundreds for Korean War veteran Ed Engle, who turns 91-years-old on Friday, August 23rd.
Ed was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few years ago, and his health has been declining.
“Three weeks ago we got the news that he was doing worse,” said Sheena Philbee, Ed’s granddaughter. “Then he was placed on hospice. Then we got the news that this might be his last birthday. The doctor did tell us he was placed in hospice because [he has] probably six months or less [to live].”
That’s when Sheena took to Facebook, asking the public to send Ed birthday cards to help life his spirits.
“We can give him so many cards, but what if a whole community gave him cards?” Sheena asked.
However, she did not expect things to take off just days later.
“I’m thinking, ‘oh, we might have four or five,’ and [the mail lady] comes to the door and we have 94 cards,” Philbee said. “It was very overwhelming, he had tears in his eyes.”
The cards started rolling in from outside of Wisconsin. All the way out east to Pennsylvania, to down south in Texas, hundreds reached out to wish Ed a happy birthday. And the birthday boy reads each and every card sent to him.
“Word for word he studied the cards,” Philbee said. “You can even draw a picture on a piece of paper and send it because he does appreciate it and he looks at every single thing.”
Philbee says Ed will accept anything that comes his way, but he also has some favorites.
“If you have children that like to draw, they can draw him a picture,” she said. “He loves looking at pictures of other veterans. American Legions have reached out to us, people have sent pictures of their dad that was in the war. We look at fishing magazines and he loves to see people catching fish.”
Philbee says it’s been an amazing sight to see her grandfather’s face light up when he sees all the cards for him.
“It’s been very emotional, very overwhelming,” she said. “There’s just really good people out there.”
If you would like to send Ed a birthday card, you can email it to the following address:
- Ed Engle
- 719 First Street
- Kewaunee, WI 54219