100-Year-Old World War II Veteran Honored

KNWA/KARK -- Even at an age a lot of us long to get to, 100-year-old W.R. Roberts can still sit with his grandson and son-in-law sharing stories of when he served during WWII.

"Going fishing, swimming," said Roberts.

Roberts says he didn't head off to the United States Navy until he was 30-years-old, all because of a friend.

"He told me, 'let me take you up to Little Rock and get you in the Navy before the Army get you'," Roberts said, "Well I went up there and they wanted me to sign up for the next day, I said man I can't do that, I was joking with him, I can't pay the interest on the money I owe."

He paid the price as a Seabee, but one of the stops before heading overseas was in Rhode Island.

"And that was the coldest place I ever [saw] in my life," Roberts said.

Part of the Navy construction battalion from 1943 to 1945, he was honored by the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs at Cavalier Health Care in England, Arkansas for his service.

Roberts' daughter, Marion Harp, says the only way to describe her dad being 100 and in such great health in mind and body is amazing.

"That he could go through all that and be the places he's been, never got hurt, injured," said Harp.

When asked if he would do it all over again, Roberts had mixed feelings.

"Well if I was the same age, I'd do it over again, I guess I could, but right now I wouldn't give a dime to go back and see everything," said Roberts.

But when he does want to take a trip down memory lane.

"Once in awhile I get that book out and look at it," Roberts said.

He says he doesn't want to get it torn up, because one day he will pass it down to his daughter.

Roberts will celebrate his 101st birthday on September 25th.

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