TYLER, Texas (KETK) – On a beautiful Wednesday at Watkins-Logan State Veteran’s Home, staff and state representatives gathered to celebrate East Texas veteran, Archie Thomas’, 100th birthday. He was surprised with a beautifully decorated room and his friends from the veteran’s community were present. Texas state Sen. Bryan Hughes and State Rep. Cole Hefner presented him with a Texas state flag that was flown over the capitol in Austin.

“We moved some things around and did not want to miss an occasion like this. Those men and women who served us in World War II, wow, they are aging. We are all aging. So, it’s especially important that we honor them and on his 100th birthday, what a day,” said Hughes.

On his birthday, Sgt. Thomas received more than 800 cards from all over the country. Veteran’s Land Board officials say that wasn’t the final count since the mail hadn’t been dropped off for Wednesday.

“You know, it’s great! And, I wish we could do more. What we did was neat and it’s a cool thing and all but doesn’t pale in comparison to what he has done and the sacrifice he’s made for the freedoms that allow us to gather here today,” said Texas Rep. Cole Hefner.

Texas Veteran’s Land Board Chairman George P. Bush also showed his appreciation with an honorary state certificate.

KETK’s Reyna Revelle also asked Thomas how long it will take him to read all of the cards.

“About another 100 years,” he said. “Well, thank you very much! I don’t know who’s responsible for all of this. But whoever is, I hope you will tell them.”

Watkins- Logan State Veteran’s Home said they received another 350 cards and a few packages as of Wednesday evening. Thomas got a total of 1,000 cards. They are also expecting an additional 100 cards from their sister veteran home in Austin.