Ray Painter is a very special man. Not only is he a World War II Veteran, but he also turned 100-years-old Sunday. His one wish was for people to send him birthday cards.
“People were coming to meet me before today and all those cards and packages they sent me made me feel wonderful,” says World War II Veteran Ray Painter.
Now that his day has finally arrived. Painter is basking in the birthday love.
“It feels wonderful it makes me feel a whole lot younger than what I am,” states Painter.
People from all over came to the Mayflower Retirement Home in Lexington, Virginia to celebrate Painter’s big day.
“Everybody came out to my birthday. But curiosity brought a lot of them out,” says Painter.
According to Ray’s son Thad. Now that he’s turned 100-years-old, he’s broken his silence about the war.
“He actually told somebody it took him 100 years to become a celebrity. I’m 64 and he never talked about his experience of the war. He mentioned little bits and pieces to me. Now I know what my dad did in World War II and I didn’t know until this happened. So I’m glad for the community, my grandchildren, and especially pop.”
Not only was Painter honored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars for his service. The Mayor of Lexington designated May 5th, 2019 as “Ray Painter Day.” Which is something the Painter family will never forget.
“It’s been a real to have a grandfather that has been with me for 36 years so it’s pretty amazing to see someone excel and make it to 100,” explains Ray’s granddaughter Ashley Painter.
Ashley’s sister Ali Engleman is still in awe of this once in a lifetime achievement.
“I lost my grandmother about 7 years ago but I have always had him by my side. I mean he lived right next door and I just work two blocks away. So to watch this milestone it’s a lot of fun,” says Engleman.
Even with all the gifts and cards. Ray Painter has one word to describe his 100th birthday celebration.
“Great. I reckon that’s the word you’d use is great.”