A Conway nursing home is home to one of, if not the oldest, living WWII veterans in Arkansas.
Lewis Adams, 99, is a resident at Heritage Living Center in Conway.
The Arkansas Department of Veteran Affairs confirmed Friday that Adams is the oldest registered veteran, though another may be unregistered.
"I was told that they are quite certain he’s the oldest WWII veteran in Arkansas," Kelly Adcock, marketing and community relations director for Heritage Living Center, said.
Adcock said Adams is an active resident at the center, visiting with all residents and participating in most programs.
Adams was born April 14, 1911, in Mayflower, where he spent most of his life before being drafted into the Army on Feb. 15, 1942.
According to Adcock, Adams spent time at Camp Robinson, St. Louis and Illinois.
In an interview between Adcock and Adams, Adams said, "I guarded prisoners there (in Illinois). When they got out of line, I had to push them back with a shot gun. I didn’t like that so I asked for a transfer overseas."
Adams said he left the United States on a New York City ship at dark.
"I woke up the next morning and I was among nine ships in a convoy. The ships were zig-zagging back and forth so that if there was a missile fired, chances were better that you would be missed."
Adams spent time overseas transferring patients to and from Munich and serving in occupational forces.
While on active duty, he met a 23-year-old woman who was to be his wife. The couple’s first of four children was born in Germany.
He and his family returned to the United States in 1949, and after some time, Adams re-enlisted and made his way back to Regensburg, a German city where he spent most of his time overseas.
Adams spent a total of nine years on active duty and four years on reserve duty.
According to Adcock, Adams is the recipient of the Bronze Star for bravery for his involvement in an operation to keep soldiers safe as they went to battle searching for enemies hidden behind the back ranks, behind rocks, in trees or buildings.
Adcock said Adams is especially proud to share his memories during holidays like Independence Day and Memorial Day.
"I feel proud because I helped protect people and our country."
(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)