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Veteran in White Marsh is turning 95, family asking people to send him birthday cards

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Posted at 5:00 AM, Aug 03, 2023

Update:

A happy update to share.

The family of Harry Allender Sr., who grew up in Baltimore and served in the Korean War, says he received more than 300 cars, and cards are still coming in the mail!

He even got a card from the Orioles and the Oriole Bird!

Original story:

"He’s probably just one of the most wonderful, wonderful men that I’ve ever met."

Chris Wilson has nothing but kind words for his father-in-law, Harry Allender Sr., who he calls Pop.

"He's like the patron saint of the family. I’ve never heard anybody say a bad word about him."

Allender grew up in Baltimore and served in the Korean War. When he came home, he raised three kids with his wife and worked at the Baltimore Police Department for 32 years.

"He had a long and distinguished career [and] he’s had a long and fantastic life," said Wilson.

Allender is turning 95 on August 6. To make his birthday extra special, Wilson reached out to Janine Stange about requesting birthday cards for his father-in-law.

Stange is a local motivational speaker who travels around the country to speak to groups, businesses, associations, etc. She is also known for singing the National Anthem in all 50 states and gained a large following on social media.

"I realized I had something that I could use as a platform to make these veterans realize how many grateful people there are out there for them and they absolutely love it," she said.

Stange puts out requests for birthday cards through her social media pages and includes a write-up about each veteran. And these vets aren't getting just a few birthday cards. Often times they are getting hundreds of cards sent to them containing messages of appreciation and gratitude from strangers.

"It's making them feel like the very special people that they are," Stange said.

That's exactly what Wilson and his wife, Harry's daughter Sissie Wilson, are hoping that Allender will feel when he gets his cards.

They say in addition to health issues, Allender has been depressed about the loss of his wife, who died five years ago. They hope the cards will lift his spirits.

"I just feel like if he does get some response from this it will show him that there are people out there who still care about him," said Sissie.

Mail birthday cards to:
Harry Carroll Allender Sr.
5610 Allender Road
White Marsh, MD 21162

To put in a request for birthday cards for a veteran through Janine, text "USA" to 33777 or join her team and send a request by email through her website. She asks for 8 weeks notice.

To see requests for birthday cards, follow Janine on Facebook.