BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — A World War II veteran in Beckley celebrated a very special birthday.
On August 8, 2020, Cecil Ward reached a milestone in life that very few can say they have.
“I’m one hundred years old,” Did you ever think you would make it? “No I never thought I would,” said Ward.
Ward served in the U.S. Army for three years, stationed overseas at different islands, as well as the Philippines. He even fought at the Battle of the Bulge.
Ward said love, family, and happiness kept him going during his time in the military. He said it is those same things that are essential to a long life.
“Well, I have always had a positive attitude towards everything and just took everything as it comes,” said Ward.
Friends and family came together to honor Ward in an event put together by representatives from the Beckley VA Medical Center. Sarah Yoke, the Public Affairs Officer at the VA, said she wanted to ensure Ward received special recognition.
“We don’t have too many World War II veterans left and achieving 100 years of age is an achievement in itself,” said Yoke.
In honor of this very special birthday, Ward received very special gifts. Yoke worked with both the voluntary service office and the Disabled American Veterans to put together a birthday bag for Ward. They gave Ward his favorite meal, along with other goodies from the medical center. Ward got birthday greetings from both Senator Joe Manchin and Senator Shelley Moore Capito. Governor Jim Justice sent Ward two flags; one State of West Virginia Flag, which previously flew over the state capital building, and an American flag from the national capitol building.
Yoke said this was all to make sure Ward was honored and celebrated for both his birthday and his service to our country.
“It’s a great opportunity to take a step back from all of the COVID related stress to honor a very special man who served this country,” said Yoke.