Alabama man, veteran of three wars, celebrates 100th birthday

An Alabama man who served in three wars celebrated his 100th birthday Wednesday via FaceTime with the Birmingham Veterans Affairs Health Care System. But, it was just another day for retired Marine Corps Col. Carl Cooper.

Other than the 101 flags in his yard in his hometown of Clanton, it was business as usual for Cooper, WBRC reported.

After all, he still cuts his yard and stuffs inserts into 3,000 Sunday bulletins every Thursday morning at 6 a.m., WZDX reported.

Times are unusual, though. For his milestone birthday, Cooper used FaceTime and sat in his golf cart in the sun while he was serenaded with “Happy Birthday” -- with people standing at least 6 feet away, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cooper served during World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He said he will survive the current medical scare "by the grace of God," WBRC reported.

Cooper was born in Clanton on March 18, 1920, and registered for the draft Sept. 3, 1941, according to military record. He enlisted in the Marines on April 1, 1942, and was a member of the 6th Marine Divison, WZDX reported.

In 1945, Cooper was a 1st lieutenant and was serving in Okinawa. He has earned two dozen medals for his service, including a Presidential Unit Citation with One Star, Marine Corps Medal with Four Stars, the United Nations Medal, and the Legion of Merit Medal, the television station reported.

“I was only doing what my country needed me to do and I came home,” Cooper said.

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