ARAB, Ala. — A small group of close acquaintances gather at Arab City Park to lay a wreath at the Veterans Monument. One of them is Sergeant James L. Carson, a 99-year-old WWII veteran who says he's just thankful to still be here! "I'm thankful and blessed to have had good health for all my life until this apparent time period, and it's just wonderful to be here and be among our American Legion friends."
Legion Chaplain for Post 114, Lee Whalen says Carson actually 'recruited him' and he's been such a blessing every since. "He knew I was going to night school to get a certificate in ministry leadership. So he kind of tagged me, and I was a deacon at one of the local churches. He kind of sought me out and said, 'Yeah, I pick you. So I'm just going to pay your dues."
Carson says one specific memory he has during his time of service was serving in the Battle of the Bulge under George Patton, who became one of the most famous American military commanders during World War II. "A lot of people didn't take to George to well, but George Patton got the job done."
Carson says he was serving under George Patton when Patton died. "I also have a picture, color picture of George that I keep for my personal. But, I enjoyed knowing him and serving under him in World War II."
After the wreath-laying, the groups headed to the Cost of Freedom Veteran's Museum where Carson and his other veteran friends believe in sharing veterans' history while also enjoying meeting other veterans.
The nonprofit museum is open from 10am - 4pm, Monday - Thursday, by guest appointment only. On Friday and Saturday from 10am - 4pm, all are welcome.