It’s a huge milestone that few people reach, and one that’s certainly worth celebrating!
A local veteran just turned 104 years old.
His name is John Drake Sr.
The World War II veteran said being able to celebrate a birthday at this stage of the game is nothing short of a blessing.
On Saturday, more than 50 friends and family members joined him in the celebration.
First came the honks, followed by the waves, as they drove by to wish Drake a happy 104th birthday. The honk-and-wave parade was held for the World War II veteran in Harvest.
The Harvest Volunteer Fire Department led the parade.
“I’m looking around to see where I’ve come from to where I am today. I got to be thankful,” said Drake.
Mentally, the veteran is as sharp as they come.
People asked what’s the secret to seeing 104 years old. Some say it’s Drake’s astounding family genes.
“My mother lived to be 103. She taught me a lot,” he said.
However, Drake said the answer is something you might have learned at a young age.
“My secret? My secret is just doing the best I can, and loving and caring for everybody, and making sure that I live the life I preach about. I ain’t gone say nothing that I can’t cover,” he said.
Drake’s birthday celebration is the first time the family has been able to host a big party since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
Robert — Drake’s youngest of nine children — said gratitude is at the top of the list for him as they celebrate what he calls a miracle.
“We thank God for it. I mean, this is all God. I mean, there’s no other explanation for it,” said Robert.
As a World War II veteran, Robert said, his father served in the war dutifully.
Eddie Johnson, a Vietnam veteran and Drake’s 88-year-old nephew, said everything he learned about his work ethic, he learned from his uncle.
“He always said, ‘Always give 100% for your pay.’ And it has stuck with me, and it paid off. What he told me was true,” said Johnson.
After speaking with Drake, it’s clear, he’s very thankful to reach such a rare milestone.
“I got to be an old man. Don’t too many reach my age and know it and can say it when they reach it. They know it but can’t say it,” said Drake.
Drake was asked what advice he would give to anyone listening. He simply said to always try to do the best that you can.