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Floyd vet turning 103

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The family of Floyd County’s Orland Phillips is requesting community members to send him cards to help celebrate his 103rd birthday on Feb. 5.

Unable to throw a big birthday bash again this year, Mr. Phillips’ family would like him to get at least 103 cards, his daughter Mary Hodge said, noting “funny, silly” cards can be sent to 124 Homestead Road in Willis, Va, 24380.

Mr. Phillips was raised in Jackson County, West Va., with three brothers, and quit school in eighth grade to work, a 2019 feature in the Floyd Press written to celebrate his 100th birthday details. He was 21 years old and enrolled at the Naval Ordinance Plant when he was drafted into World War II in April of 1941.

“I was in there before the war started and in there when it was done,” he said in 2019, serving for a total of four years and seven months as a machinist in maintenance ordnance.

Phillips’ father started working at the Radford Arsenal while he was enlisted, and the family moved to Virginia, where he found Leora Marshall from Indian Valley.

The two were married in Radford, honeymooned in Pulaski, and had four daughters: Geneva McPeak, Mary Hodge, Nora Bentley and Paulette Gardner.

In July 2021, Floyd VFW Post 8754 replaced single-pane windows in Mr. Phillips’ self-built home to keep it warmer in the winter months.

He built the house in 1953 out of materials from Army barracks across the state, and uses a log stove for heat.

Help him celebrate 103 years of life on Feb. 5 by sending birthday cards to 124 Homestead Road in Willis, Va., 24380.

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