Recently, Navy veteran Ralph J. Morris celebrated his 100th birthday with Gulf Coast VA staff.
The World War II veteran, who enlisted in 1942, was recognized during the celebration at the Pensacola Joint Ambulatory Care Center by Director Bryan C. Matthews.
“Our veterans are our raison d’être. Celebrating the 100th birthday of someone involved in one of the world’s greatest conflicts is an honor,” said Matthews. “Mr. Morris’ dedication to duty is an example of what we – as an organization serving those who have served – stand for. I couldn’t be more proud to celebrate this veteran’s milestone birthday.
Matthews addressed Morris, his family and friends as Director of Primary Home Care, Ashley Nadeau, presented Morris with Navy medals and ribbons he received nearly 20 years ago. eight decades.
Mate machinist on two destroyers
Morris also received photographs of the Navy destroyers he served on and a book on World War II ships from the Medical Director of Home and Community Programs, Dr. James Heriot.
Morris was born in Jefferson, Iowa. He served aboard the USS Sigsbee, a Fletcher-class destroyer. Later, he served aboard the USS Alfred A. Cunningham, an Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer. When he enlisted, he was second machinist. He worked in the power plants of both ships.
After his military service, Morris opened a furniture store in Iowa, married and then raised two daughters. In 1959 the family moved to Florida and he worked as a salesman. Recently, the WWII veteran moved to Crestview, Florida to live with his daughter.
Devotion to duty speaks volumes
“On behalf of Gulf Coast VA, I’m honored to wish you a happy birthday,” Matthews said. “Your dedication and devotion to duty during one of our country’s greatest challenges speaks volumes about who you are.”
More than 16 million American citizens served in World War II, but less than 250,000 are still alive today.
The Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System includes the Biloxi VA Medical Center and community outpatient clinics in Mobile, Pensacola, Eglin and Panama City. Its headquarters are in Biloxi, Mississippi. The system provides a variety of outpatient medical services to more than 82,000 veterans and other eligible beneficiaries along Mississippi, Alabama and the Gulf Coast of Florida.