A World War II veteran in Knoxville is celebrating a big milestone this Veterans Day weekend: his 100th birthday.
Syl Baldridge rang in a century of life at a party with friends and family Sunday afternoon.
“It kind of sneaks up on you. I’m glad I lived to be 100, I don’t feel any different than I did a year ago,” Baldridge said.
Syl Baldridge served as a Staff Sergeant in the US Army Air Corps in World War II.
“I served overseas in India and China and a whole bunch of places in the United States. Stayed in there 3 years 8 months and 21 days,” Baldridge said. “I enjoyed it all. I really did.”
The veteran is also a big UT sports fan and a Vol For Life. He worked in the UT Treasurer’s office for nearly four decades.
“People come up to him and say ‘if it wasn’t for you they wouldn’t have graduated from the university.’ So, he had a big part in things like that. He’s just a helpful man,” Baldridge’s son, Kreis, said.
But as for his biggest accomplishment, Syl said, “I have two wonderful children, that’s my biggest accomplishment.”
Baldridge’s two children are proud of their father on this Veterans Day.
“God bless our troops and God bless daddy,” Baldridge’s daughter, Betsy, said.
“We should be proud of our veterans and I’m sure we are. I’m proud of them. And I’m proud to be an American too,” said Baldridge.
His secret to getting to 100? Good genes. His mother lived to be 103 and his younger sister is currently 99 years old.