FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A World War II veteran will celebrate his 100th birthday at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, July 18. The momentous event will take place at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Annex.
Bo’s Blessings – LUTHAB, Inc., a northwest Arkansas nonprofit that improves the lives of veterans and military families, invites the public to celebrate Dr. Robert A. Craig.
The Singing Men of Arkansas will perform according to a press release. There will be a short program with prize and cake presentations.
Meet Dr. Robert A. Craig, the century-old World War II vet
Dr. Robert A. Craig will celebrate his 100th birthday.
He was born in Batesville, Arkansas on July 18, 1922. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he joined the army at age 19.
Dr. Craig often says he hasn’t had a weekend for two years. He spent his 21st birthday in Sicily under heavy enemy fire after landing in a tree. He managed to free himself after the fire stopped.
He crawled to safety and was able to celebrate with his battalion near the city of Palermo.
According to a news bulletin, he first participated in the 82nd Artillery Battalion, where he traveled to North Africa and Europe as a paratrooper. From there he was attached to the 101st Airborne in Europe.
He was part of the 101st Battalion at the Battle of the Bulge which later received the Presidential Citation.
While sent to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest to secure the area, Dr. Craig and his friend taught their comrades tennis to keep them fit. This lasted until they were shipped to the United States.
After returning from the war, he met his wife, Patsy, when they were both attending Arkansas College (now Lyon College). After graduation, they moved to St. Louis where he studied dentistry at the University of Washington Dental School. He practiced dentistry until the age of 72, according to the bulletin.
Patsy, his wife of 70 years, died in October 2016. She left behind four daughters, nine grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren, according to the newsletter.
Outside of his military life, Dr. Craig’s passion includes his dentistry and nature. He enjoys piniculture, fishing and hunting.
He received seven Bronze Stars and a Presidential Citation for his service. Something that shocked his family as he did not share his life experiences until the late 80s.
“Oh, I’m not brave,” said Dr. Craig. “When I enlisted, I had a job to do and I did it.”
Dr. Craig’s dedication to his country and positive attitude could be attributed to his long life.
A quote he lives up to is, “do something fun every day!”