BRYAN, Texas — A World War II veteran who celebrated his 100th birthday on Thursday admitted that his life has been quite a journey.
William T. Johnston, of Bryan, Texas, served as a carpenter’s mate second class in the U.S. Navy during World War II, KAGS-TV reported.
“Well, we’re sitting here talking to a number of people and we want to reminisce on the places I have been and (what I’ve) been through with my 100 years,” Johnston told the television station. “It’s been one hell of a ride, believe me.”
According to online records, Johnston was born Oct. 14, 1921, in Anderson, Indiana.
His daughter, Kathleen Hicks, called it “surreal” to see her father reach his 100th birthday.
“I have to admit each time I come down here and leave, I wonder if it’s the last time and then there’s another time and another time and I hope the other times keep coming,” Hicks told KAGS.
Hicks said her father continues to make jokes, especially claiming that he was the cause for the Normandy invasion on D-Day to be delayed a few days so it would not conflict with his wedding anniversary.
“He said, OK, Bill, we’ll delay it two days,’ and we had it on the sixth,” Johnston joked to KAGS.
Johnston was part of the outfit that positioned the floating docks that were used off the coast of France on D-Day, according to The Daily Reporter of Greenfield, on Nov. 4, 1944.
On Thursday, Johnston was presented with a proclamation by Bryan Mayor Andrew Nelson, the television station reported.
Johnston also was honored at the Crestview Retirement Community in Bryan, surrounded by friends and family. He followed it up with a shrimp dinner at an area Olive Garden restaurant, according to KAGS.
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