FORT WORTH, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A North Texas World War II veteran celebrated his 100th birthday Saturday afternoon and talked about his life and what he went through in the midst of the celebration.

Woody Beard was surrounded by five generations-worth of family and friends. Keller’s mayor Pat McGrail stopped by and anointed him citizen of the day.

woody WWII Veteran Celebrates 100th Birthday, Named Citizen Of The Day

Woody Beard (CBS11)

Beard served four years in the Army during World War II. He spent time in North Africa and Italy where he was a cook who regularly risked his life to get nourishment to his comrades.

He was known to go to the front lines during fighting to bring the men coffee. He talked about his closest call.

“One night, I was laying by the kitchen in my cot, and he come down and shook me and says ‘Sarge, come on and get in this hole. They are bombing all around us,'” said Beard.

Shortly after that happened, his cot and portable kitchen were blown up.

“He saved my life more than once. Jim Brandenberg, Minnesota,” said Beard.

After the war, Beard went on to train thoroughbred horses. He was also in a McDonald’s commercial.

The 60-second ad ran through a slideshow of restaurants and their messages. Near the end, a marquee at a Keller location read, “Happy 95th Birthday, Woody. We love you.”

“And I appreciate life and everything I’ve got. I appreciate it. And having a family like I got, you don’t need nothing else. Thank you for everything,” said Beard.


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