Utah recognized 22 military veterans in their 100th year of life or older during a ceremony Tuesday in the state Capitol.
“These veterans are a living history of the sacrifice and courage the Greatest Generation faced, both at home and abroad,” said Gov. Gary Herbert. “I am grateful for the service of these brave men and women, and their continuing contributions to this country and the state of Utah.”
The group honored included veterans from several armed forces branches, with their experiences and service reaching from the Aleutian Islands to the Philippines to North Africa to the beaches of Normandy.
All of the veterans in Tuesday’s ceremony served during World War II. The group included paratroopers, pilots, mechanics, crewmen, clerks, infantry, and sailors. Some were career soldiers, serving for more than 25 years, and went on to also serve in the Korean War. They range in age from 99-102.
Of the more than 16 million Americans who served in World War II, fewer than 500,000 are still alive today.
“These individuals put their lives on hold and answered the call during the largest war the world has ever seen,” said Gary Harter, Utah Department of Veterans & Military Affairs executive director. “We should strive to honor, listen and learn from these veterans’ service and sacrifice.”
UDVMA invites families of veterans in their 100th year of life to contact the department at 801-326-2372 or firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure they receive a small token from the governor, which recognizes both their service and age milestone.