World War II veteran celebrates his 100th birthday

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – It was a special birthday celebration for a local veteran.

World War II veteran, Master Sergeant John Powell turns 100 years old on Sunday and on Friday, family and friends put together a birthday party for him.

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Powell joined the army in 1941 and only planned to serve one year. Instead, he served five years.

He married his wife Betty while he was in the service.

They had to spend time a part when he was sent overseas. He was stationed at Omaha Beach on D-Day.

He returned home as a master sergeant with many medals for his service.

In the following years, he worked for IBM, had two daughters, and cherished time with his wife. He didn’t retire until 82.

Powell says his biggest adventure has been being married to his wife.

He says he’s done almost everything he’s wanted to do in life but the only thing he hasn’t been able to do is return to Omaha Beach.

“I wanted to go back and retrace that and see the difference,” said John Powell.

One of the many gifts he received at his party was a bag of sand from the beach.

“I just wish all the other guys who served over seas could go through something like this. It’s really a special thing. Thank you,” said Powell.

Powell’s birthday is on Sunday and his family says they will be throwing him a party.

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Alexus Larson joined the ABC36 news team as a multi-media journalist in December 2018. She is from a suburb outside of the Twin Cities in Minnesota and most recently comes from Minot, North Dakota where she reported and graduated from Minot State University with a degree in broadcasting. Alexus and her husband are excited to be in Lexington and out of the cold! When she’s not reporting, she loves to explore new places, be with friends and family, and watch or attend sports – especially if it’s a Minnesota team! You can see Alexus reporting during the week and the weekends. If you have any story ideas, you can contact her by email alarson@wtvq.com, or you can find her on Facebook at Alexus Larson ABC36, or on Twitter at @AlexusLarsonTV. She looks forwarding to hearing from you!