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Decorated WWII Veteran Turns 99, Tells Youth 'Take Care Of Your Country'

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW) – A local war veteran who served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam is celebrating his 99th birthday.

Lt. Col. Roy Glenmore Wingfield Jr. sat down with CBS 11 News to chat about his service and share a message of patriotism to all those that hear his story.

His military service began at 18 years old when he was recruited by the Canadian Air Force to train as a pilot during World War II. Wingfield would later transition into the U.S. Army Air Force.

"I could've been killed in any war, and somebody protected me. I guess it was the Lord. My role was just to hit the target, and that's what I tried to do."

He said his closest brush with death came during the Korean War when he was shot out of the sky, and survived by floating adrift in the ocean off the coast of Korea.

"I guess it was the flack they were throwing up. It hit me, and I came down in the water… the sharks kept nibbling at my feet but they didn't actually bite me. I kicked at them you know."

Wingfield said he feels lucky to be alive and at his age, having the opportunity to share his life story. He has outlived all of his friends and relatives, and currently lives at the Colonial Gardens assisted facility in Fort Worth.

When asked what message he has for younger generations he said , "I hope that they will feel that they are proud of their country and take care of it."

He was awarded two Purple Hears and a Silver Star among many other distinctions.

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