A U.S. veteran who saw action in World War II lamented the current state of the country while celebrating his 100th birthday.
Carl Spurlin Dekel survived World War II, but he is extremely concerned about the current state of the United States.
Dekel – who recently celebrated his 100th birthday – was outspoken about how the direction of the country is seemingly going in the wrong direction.
Dekel told WTVT, “People don’t realize what they have. The things we did and the things we fought for and the boys that died for it, it’s all gone down the drain.”
While the native of Lakeland, Florida, takes pride in all the awards and recognition he has received, his memories of his friends in the Marines who he lost in the war bring him to tears.
The tearful decorated WWII marine stated, “We haven’t got the country we had when I was raised, not at all. 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.”
Dekel delivered a pearl of wisdom, “You just remember everything’s beautiful and live every day to the fullest. Just enjoy everything you possibly can. And here I sit at 100. 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.”
Dekel – who went to war in September 1940 – said, “They shipped me straight out to Guantánamo, which was a Navy base, and put me in a machine gun company.”
“We were scared all the time. I don’t care what anybody says. We were vulnerable all the time, since Pearl Harbor, particularly,” he recalled.
The Silver Star-awarded soldier said, “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.”
According to the Silver Star recipient, he has lived a good life, attributing his longevity, happiness and good health to his appreciation for the small things.
“I want the young kids to realize that freedom comes with a heavy price,” Dekle said in an interview with Plant City Courier & Tribune in 2009. “It isn’t given to people out of the goodness of others. It’s something you have to fight and sometimes die for.”
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