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What one of the last Tuskegee airmen wants for his 100th birthday

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Cerith Gardiner - published on 05/15/22

And you can help him fulfill his dream.

Retired Sgt. Victor W. Butler will be turning 100 on May 21, and what he’d like the most is to receive birthday cards with inspiring messages.

The nonagenarian from Rhode Island served among the Tuskegee airmen between 1941 and 1946 as a mechanic. Although he didn’t fulfill his dream of becoming an actual pilot, his efforts on the ground proved to be an integral part of the airmen’s contribution to World War II.

As one of the last survivors of the group of African American military aviators, Butler has received many accolades for his part in helping the “Red Tails” — as the group was also known — on their missions. Yet, as he prepares to reach his milestone birthday, he’s just looking for human connections:

“I’ll tell you one thing: It’s great to get to 100 years old, but when you’re 100, there’s not much you want. There aren’t too many things that will make you happy than hearing from people and talking for people,” the nonagenarian shared with CBS 42.

Butler has already received over 500 cards, and he fully intends reading each and every one, explaining: “What’s special about it? It’s special just sitting and reading them,” he explained. “They all have nice letters with them. Some of them have been very inspiring. It makes me feel great.”

In addition to birthday well wishers from around the country, the Rhode Island House of Representatives also paid tribute to the father of five, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather for his tireless work as a business and family man:

“Mr. Butler has always been a hard-working man who always strived tirelessly to provide for his family and loved ones. Mr. Butler was the first African American to work for Brown and Sharpe and worked for the company for 34 years. Mr. Butler was also a successful businessman who owned and operated the ‘Victor Butler Automatic Screw Machine Repair’ company for eighteen years,” a resolution from the Rhode Island House of Representatives read.

If you would like to make Butler’s birthday that little bit more special, here’s the address to which you can send your birthday wishes:

Victor W. Butler
C/O Gary Butler
P.O. Box. 3523

Cranston, RI 02910

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