One-hundred-year-old World War II veteran Carl Spurlin Dekel considers his service to our nation one of the greatest honors of his life, but worries about the state of our country.
Through tears, Dekel told FOX 13 Tampa Bay this weekend that our nation’s decline will lead to others having fewer opportunities and living unhappy lives.
“People don’t realize what they have,” the Silver Star recipient said. “The things we did and the things we fought for and the boys that died for it, it’s all gone down the drain.”
“We haven’t got the country we had when I was raised, not at all,” Dekel continued. “Nobody will have the fun I had. Nobody will have the opportunity I had. It’s just not the same and that’s not what our boys, that’s not what they died for.”
Still, his service was an honor — and something Dekel would do all over again if he were of the appropriate age.
“Most important thing in my life was serving my country,” the veteran asserted. “I don’t think I could take away from that. They shipped me straight out to Guantánamo, which was a Navy base, and put me in a machine gun company.”
“It was an honor for me to serve my country and if I had to do it again and I was the same age, I would do it. I guarantee you,” Dekel said.
After being comforted, seemingly by a FOX 13 reporter, Dekel offered words of hope.
“You just remember everything’s beautiful and live every day to the fullest. Just enjoy everything you possibly can,” he said.
“And here I sit at 100,” Dekel added. “They tell me I’m 100. I don’t believe it sometimes. Because I don’t need to worry about age. I’m not going to, I just keep on keeping on.”
Though the 100-year-old did not elaborate on what specifically has declined in our nation, the U.S. Military as a whole has been criticized in recent years.
For example, a retired three-star general in February warned against teaching Critical Race Theory (CRT) in the military, as it would divide soldiers by race, diminish our “warfighting capabilities,” and increase the likelihood of “failure” on the battlefield, The Daily Wire reported.
“The tenets of Critical Race Theory – a cross-disciplinary intellectual and social movement that seeks to examine the intersection of race and law in the United States, but which has the unfortunate effect of dividing people along racial lines – undermine our military’s unity and diminish our warfighting capabilities,” wrote retired Lieutenant General Greg Newbold. “When we highlight differences or group identity, we undermine cohesion and morale. Failure results.”
Ben Johnson contributed to this report.