Today my dad turned 100. He was born a mile North of where I live on the family homestead. He is the oldest of 6 children. He has one surviving sister. He served in World War II. He was drafted into the army in 1942. After boot camp he was assigned to Battery C of the 692nd Field Artillery Battallion at Fort Sill OK. He landed in Normandy France in August of 1944. From there they moved inland and fired their first 105mm howitzers shells in combat at Borne Holland. His unit supported the 84th Infantry Division at the Battle of the Bulge. After the Bulge they crossed the Siegfried line into Germany.
After the war he returned to the family farm. In 1960 he married my mother. I am the youngest of his five children. I was born in 1967 a month before he turned 55. He has 11 grand children. The oldest is 25 and the youngest is 12.
In 1997 he had an asthma attack and quit breathing. I was a few miles North of where they lived when my wife called to tell me. I was able to get there in time to perform CPR on him and revive him. 15 years of life that he would have missed. I am glad I was there.
This weekend we hosted a family dinner and open house for him. We had over 135 people attend. It was a good weekend. All of my family was able to attend as well as several cousins. It was good to see everyone.
This afternoon we took him over to the house where he was born a 100 years ago and took his picture. After that we came back to my house and had a small birthday party for him with two of my sisters and their family. My second cousin from Edmond, OK made the birthday cake we had tonight. I don't know how many layers it was but it was rich.
My dad was a simple dirt farmer. He has lived his life with a strong faith in God, a willingness to help his fellow man, and a thirst for knowledge. He may be 100 years old but he still reads books and wants to learn."
Happy Birthday Mr. Sanders and thank you for your service!