Later this month Prattville resident Charles Bloodworth will celebrate his 100th birthday.
"I'm getting around pretty good for an old man," Bloodworth said with a wry smile.
It's a century that included 26 years in the military during World War II and the Korean War. On this Veterans Day like so many before, Bloodworth will remember those still serving and some of his friends who never made it home.
"I have so much respect for them. They give so much of their life," Bloodworth said.
Bloodworth joined what was then the Army Air Corps when he was 23 in 1937. He signed up for the military because back then jobs were hard to find.
"The military was and still is an honorable profession," he said.
The next thing Bloodworth knew the war was on and this native of Memphis found himself training as a glider pilot. The U.S. military used lightweight gliders to transport troops and equipment, gliders with no engines.
"Once they cut the tow line you had no choice but to go down. I was responsible for a lot of troops and equipment," Bloodworth said.
A hair-raising experience for sure and now many years later, Bloodworth is trying to get a handle on another challenge -- accepting the fact Veterans Day in his view isn't really appreciated like it used to be.
He finds it troubling and baffling.
"They're misinformed. The younger generation I don't think understands the sacrifices that were made," he said.
Mr. Bloodworth retired from the Army as Master Sgt., and spent the next 19 years working for the Alabama Department of Revenue.
"I gave all I had," he said.
History tells us Charles Bloodworth was a member of the 'Greatest Generation,' one among millions who sacrificed and defeated tyranny.
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