SPOKANE, Wash. -- A local veteran who just turned 94 was able to celebrate knowing the community he dedicated his life to serving loves him right back.

Two weeks ago, Bonnie Kessler told our 'Help Me Hayley' that her father, Raymond Waterhouse, has had many heartbreaks in recent years. She wanted his special day to be one filled with joy. She asked our community to send him birthday cards to remind him that he is loved.

"It would (make his day,)" she said earlier this month. "He's kind of a shut-in. He doesn't get out much. This would really surprise him. He has no idea I'm doing this. I'm trying to repay some of the love he gave us."

Bonnie says her father devoted his life to being the best dad possible. He also served our country in the Army in WWII and continued to serve in the National Guard. She says his military career lasted more than 40 years, and he has immense pride in our nation. He's had health struggles and concerns, even before the COVID-19 chaos, and has little interaction with others. Now, even more so. He's also lost, two children. The family just wanted to rally around the man who was constantly there supporting, loving and helping others

"Yeah, it's our turn," she said. "I would just like to see him get a lot of birthday cards to let him know, people love him," Bonnie said. "This would make him so happy."

Our community and beyond responded to the 'Help Me Hayley' story in a big way.
"We got more than 1,300 cards," Bonnie said. "This made him so happy. Thank you to all your viewers."
Cards and even thank-you notes came from all over the nation. People sent Raymond tee shirts, stickers and other goodies.
"It's wonderful," he said.
The family celebrated Raymond's birthday responsibly with those who already live with him. Their top priority is keeping their loved ones healthy. Raymond was able to make it out of bed to sit on the porch for a few minutes of sunshine, adding to the birthday joy.
Health officials have told KHQ it is highly unlikely COVID-19 can travel via mail.