An Army veteran got more than she dreamed on her 100th birthday when loved ones threw her a parade outside the Homestead of Topeka.
Helen Rhodes spent her childhood in Tampa, Kansas, then relocated to Wichita to become a nurse, WIBW reported Saturday.
She went through basic training, then traveled to Fort Riley. She served her country for 18 months in the States.
During her time in high school, she met someone who captured her heart, saying, “Then one night, I get this call from J Frank, wanted a date and I kept him.”
In a social media post March 25, the Leavenworth VA Medical Center wished Rhodes a happy birthday and detailed the couple’s story:
“When the war was over, Frank came home after serving time as a Paratrooper in Africa, Sicily, Anzio, France and through the Battle of the Bulge with the 509th,” the post read, adding they were married in 1946 and moved to Topeka where they raised three daughters.
“Helen and Frank celebrated 66 years of marriage. Frank passed away in December of 2012,” the medical center continued.
Now, Helen was extremely pleased to be with her great-grandchildren, because, as her daughter Jenny Lee explained, “Family is number one. Whatever situation she’s in, she makes the most of it.”
Jenny said she enjoyed living life to the fullest and urged others to live in the same way she has for so many years.
Rhodes was happy to celebrate the big day with the parade thanks to the VFW riders, Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, and Veteran Affairs staff members.
“I feel like I was brought up very good,” she commented. “I had a loving family and we have a whole bunch now. All of them have turned out well. So why couldn’t I be happy.”
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