Press "Enter" to skip to content

WWII vet marks 103rd birthday

By Sherri Ellington Local World War II veteran Rufus Durrah, who at 103 is one of the oldest veterans in Georgia, was feted for his milestone birthday with a trip to the Garden Patch restaurant. The honors included a trip to the restaurant in a restored Army Jeep. Durrah hopped in and out of the vehicle easily, much as he likely did in the 1940s. He served in combat zones in the European and Pacific theaters during World War II. Durrah’s birthday last year was celebrated with a parade in the same vehicle; pictures of the event were a big hit at the luncheon. Army sergeants Gregory McCord, James Smith and Marvin Prophet joined him for the birthday dinner. Pike County’s American Legion Post 197 and other veterans were part of the occasion. Diners walked up to thank Durrah ‘“ and his guests ‘“ for their service to the country, leaving him birthday gifts that ranged from cash to homemade cards to food from the buffet. Like a visit last month in which the state American Legion visited Sunny Grove Assisted Living, where Durrah lives, to give him a certificate and a photo of his younger self in uniform, there were honors. Birthday cards and balloons, some from the children of veterans, lined the table where Durrah sat. ’Thank you for your services to our great nation and your membership in our great organization,’ wrote 2013-14 American Legion national commander Daniel Dellinger, who sent a certificate of recognition. The party and kudos were arranged by fellow veteran Randy Martin, the owner of the restored Army Jeep and a member of Post 197. ’I wasn’t sure how I was going to top the parade last year,’ said Martin, who wore his military police uniform. He is an Air Force veteran of 26 years who works with Sunny Grove Assisted Living, where Durrah lives, to arrange the annual birthday celebrations. Staff Sgt. Gregory McCord and Staff Sgt. Marvin Prophet, recruiters who ceremonially swore Durrah back into duty last year, were joined this year by Staff Sgt. James Smith.

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Website by - Copyright 2021