MARLOW, Okla. (KFOR) – An Oklahoma community is mourning the loss of a World War II veteran whose story touched thousands of people across the globe.
Last year, KFOR told you about Recil Troxel, a World War II veteran in Marlow.
In honor of his 93rd birthday, family members decided to start his birthday celebration a little early so that he could get enjoyment from one of his favorite things.
“When the mail is here, he’s like, ‘The mail is here. We better go get the mail,'” said Liz Anderson, Troxel’s daughter.
After hearing about Troxel’s birthday last year, a group of elementary students in Lawton decided to do something special for the veteran.
“I thought that it would be an excellent opportunity to teach my students two important things. One: always be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. And two: kindness is doing something for someone and expecting nothing in return,” said Joslyn Wood, an Oklahoma teacher.
The students sent hundreds of birthday cards to Troxel, which inspired families from across the globe to do the same.
In all, he ended up with over 130,000 birthday cards and even had a visit from Pistol Pete.
Sadly, family members announced that Troxel passed away and “gained his angel wings.” They also thanked everyone for making his 93rd birthday the best one ever.