D-Day ‘runaway’ veteran receives over 2,500 birthday cards

TORONTO – A navy veteran who was reported missing after he left his nursing home to attend D-Day celebrations said he was “overwhelmed” to receive at least 2,500 cards for his 90th birthday from strangers.

Bernard Jordan became famous earlier this month after he made his own way to Normandy for the 70th anniversary of D-Day after the Royal British Legion trip he wanted to go on was booked up.

WW II veteran Bernard Jordan enjoyed a special 90th birthday Tuesday June 17, 2014. AP Photo

“I just can’t believe it. I want to thank everyone who sent me a card or a gift,” he said in an interview. “Sadly I can’t thank everyone in person so I hope they get this message.”

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“There were a lot of other people on the beaches of Normandy that day, this lovely attention is for them really, not me.”

The WWII veteran left his care home in a town in the south coast of England on June 5 and boarded the ‘Mont-Sant Michel’ Brittany ferry in the early morning. While staff at his nursing home declared him missing to police later in the evening, another veteran on the same ferry called the care home to let them know Jordan was safe.

Bernard Jordan, the 90-year-old war veteran found in Normandy after being reported missing from his care home in Hove, Sussex, waves as he returns to Portsmouth on a Brittany Ferry. AP Photo

“It was an exciting experience – really smashing,” he said. “I’ll have to face the music at the care home now but that’s just one of those things in life. You have good and bad things – you just get on with it and do your best!”

Jordan said his wife Irene knew of his adventure and supported him.

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“I’m really pleased I did it and I’ll do it again next year if I’m still here!”

After all the media attention, Jordan said he spent his 90th birthday on Tuesday quietly with his wife.

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