It’s worth listening to what he has to say.
Carl Spurlin Dekel has seen a lot in his life, and now he can add another milestone memory.
On Wednesday, June 29, his family and friends gathered to honor the service, sacrifice, and centennial of the World War II veteran in Plant City.
“Most important thing in my life was serving my country. I don’t think I could take away from that,” Dekel said.
“People don’t realize what they have,” the Silver Star recipient said. “The things we did and the things we fought for and the boys that died for it, it’s all gone down the drain.”
“We haven’t got the country we had when I was raised, not at all,” Dekel continued. “Nobody will have the fun I had. Nobody will have the opportunity I had. It’s just not the same and that’s not what our boys, that’s not what they died for.”
Still, his service was an honor — and something Dekel would do all over again if he were of the appropriate age.
“Most important thing in my life was serving my country,” the veteran.
“I don’t think I could take away from that. They shipped me straight out to Guantánamo, which was a Navy base, and put me in a machine gun company.”
“It was an honor for me to serve my country and if I had to do it again and I was the same age, I would do it. I guarantee you,” Dekel said.
After being comforted, seemingly by a FOX 13 reporter, Dekel offered words of hope.
“You just remember everything’s beautiful and live every day to the fullest. Just enjoy everything you possibly can,” he said.
“And here I sit at 100,” Dekel added. “They tell me I’m 100. I don’t believe it sometimes. Because I don’t need to worry about age. I’m not going to, I just keep on keeping on.”
WWII veteran marks 100th birthday with celebration of patriotism, sacrifice