Special 90th birthday celebration held for Army Veteran

ByJamie Ertle|May 19, 2020 at 9:18 PM EDT - Updated May 19 at 11:38 PM

RIDGELAND, S.C. (WTOC) - A show of respect Tuesday afternoon in Ridgeland, South Carolina.

Friends, family and complete strangers put on a parade to wish a U.S. Army Veteran a happy birthday.

Lester Medlock is celebrating a milestone. He turned 90 today and his family wanted to do something special.

He says it's his strong faith in God that got him through.

“This is my 90th birthday and all that are here today is because of the love of the all mighty god,” he said.

Jasper County Sheriff Chris Malphrus put a call out on his office’s Facebook page.

“We asked the community to get involved and as you see there’s a great crowd, there’s people lining up; people from other cities coming. It’s one small way we can get involved in our community.”

Medlock is only one left from his generation, "My mother gave birth to ten sons and four daughters, and all of them have passed except for me."

Not only is he turning 90, he served in the Army; an E-7 in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. His niece wanted something a bit more for him this year.

“He served in the Army for 21 years and that was awesome. He said he never had a parade before and we wanted to make that happen for him,” said Latrelle Jenkins

Medlock says he was only in Vietnam for three months when a round of ammunition from enemy fire landed near his barracks. He was wounded and transported.

He laughs, "Sometimes I feel my age, and sometimes I don't."

Mary Medlock, another niece said of the turnout, "I didn't expect all of that; I thought it was just the sheriff's department; I didn't expect other people to participate, but I'm happy they did."

Sheriff Malphrus said it does them good too. “It adds positivity to our daily duties and operations.”

Photo: WTOC

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