Ken Lindow, a World War II veteran, blew out the candles on his birthday cake at his 100th birthday celebration Thursday, May 26, at the Marble Falls VFW Post 10376. His longtime friend and waitress Wanda Nelson celebrated alongside him. Lindow actually turned 100 on Wednesday, May 25. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey
World War II veteran Ken Lindow of Horseshoe Bay turned 100 years old on Wednesday, May 25. Members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10376 in Marble Falls celebrated their fellow veteran with a party on Thursday, May 26. Lindow arrived at the post, 1001 Veterans Drive, in a fire truck.
“These folks need to be honored,” said Charles Dear, the newly elected conductor for the post’s auxiliary, which is composed of those who have family who have served or still serve in the military. “They’re the reason that we’re still alive today and why we’re the country we are today.”
Dear, who knows Lindow from regular breakfast meetings, felt compelled to organize a celebration when he found out Lindow was about to hit the century mark.
“There’s not too many of the World War II veterans still around,” Dear said. “That’s one of the reasons I wanted to do this. They’re a breed that’s going away.”
Only 240,329 of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II were still living in 2021, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. That’s only 1.53 percent of those who fought.
Lindow graduated high school in 1940 and attended Rice University on a track-and-field scholarship for two years before enlisting in the U.S. Navy. He retired from the Navy as an aviation radioman petty officer 2nd Class (ARM 2C) after serving in the Pacific Theater in World War II.
“This generation has gone through so much, but it also set our moral fiber into place in terms of love of country, dedication to duty and country, and, of course, fighting for one another and preservation of our liberties,” said state Rep. Terry Wilson (District 20), who attended the event. “Why would you not celebrate this generation?”
Wilson is also a veteran, serving 32 years in the U.S. Army before retiring as a colonel. He presented Lindow with a flag that was flown over the Texas Capitol building in Austin on May 25.
“We have so few World War II veterans,” Wilson said. “I recently lost my granddad, who was a World War II veteran.”
A man of great faith, Lindow credits his relationship with God as the reason for his long life and good fortune.
“I’ve had a good life,” he told DailyTrib.com. “I’ve been a Christian all my life, and that has helped me quite a long ways. You need to be a Christian, follow the good lord and do what he says, and you’ll be all right.”