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WWII veteran celebrates 108th birthday among family, supporters

Harold Nelson is believed to be the oldest living veteran in Colorado.

AURORA, Colo. — It's not officially on the record books, but Harold Nelson, who this past Saturday celebrated his 108th birthday, is believed to be the oldest living veteran in the state of Colorado. At his VFW Post, #3631, they've hosted plenty of birthdays over the years - but never one quite like this.

"For an old guy, I'm pretty good," Nelson said nonchalantly. "I don't smoke, drink, or chew, or associate with those that do."

His family is quick to point out that isn't exactly true - he is known to enjoy the occasional bourbon. But, at 108, is still sharp as a tack.

"He said, 'I can't really believe I have two girls on Social Security,'" said one of those two daughters, Carolee. She added it's a miracle he's made it this far, escaping death repeatedly while overseas in World War II.

"He had many close calls," she said.

Nelson has two Purple Hearts to show for it, and on his special day was thanked for his service with a special honor - a ceiling tile painted to thank him for his service - an honorarium unique to the VFW hall normally reserved for those who have passed.

A cake, however, was skipped, after VFW officials learned what happened at Harold's last birthday.

"The cake was full of candles," Carolee remembered, "It took all six of my grandchildren to light them 'cause the first ones were burning out before the last ones got lit."

The fire continues to burn within Harold, who at 108, shows no signs of slowing down.

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