MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A World War II veteran had a big party Monday as he turned 102.
Dozens of motorcycles, cars and buses drove down Dauphin Island Parkway to share their birthday wishes for Taylor Howard at the Parkway Senior Center.
Howard would go to the senior center every day up until the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to close their doors, but he came back on his birthday for a big celebration.
Turning 102 isn’t something that happens every day.
“He was counting down the days to his birthday – he said ‘I’m almost grown,'” said Sandy Campbell, his caregiver.
This birthday called for a large celebration.
“This gentleman rode a horse at 14 years old,” said Eddie Irby, with the 92nd Division Buffalo Soldiers. He continued, “[Howard] went to WWII, and would have gone on after that but he married had a family had a very successful business. The Lord has kept him around ’til he turned 102, so we wanted to do this.”
Several of his fellow veterans drove by to show their appreciation for him.
“It touches his heart that the veterans still vine together, still look out for one another. Even at his age, he feels that love and brotherhood from the community,” said Sandra Howard Adams, his daughter.
Employees of the City of Mobile Senior Centers also drove past to make his day memorable.
“I’ve said funerals and birthdays are something you don’t get the chance to do-over. So, if he’s here now, we want to get it done now,” said Irby.
His family says they’re blessed he is still here.
“I can say in today’s world, at 102, he’s seen a lot. But I always say he’s never promoted hate, he promotes love and positivity. I think that’s what keeps him living. He always says ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you,'” said Howard Adams.
Grateful for all of the support seeing him hit this milestone. “We’ve already planned his 103rd birthday,” said Irby.
Mr. Howard also exercises his right to vote for every election. His daughter plans on taking him to cast his absentee ballot Tuesday, the day after his 102nd birthday.
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