Memphis WWII veteran celebrates 104th birthday

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- An American hero, World War II veteran and Memphis native turned 104-years-old on Friday.

Navy veteran Robert Lawson was honored at the Memphis VA Medical Center with a surprise birthday celebration.

Lawson credited  his long life to faith.

"Church. Being with God," he said.

Family members said he always gave to others whether it was his country, his church, or his very large family.

"My father always tried to instill in us to be somebody, treat everybody right," his daughter said.

VA staff surprised Lawson with the party Friday.

He thought he was just coming for a check up.

Other World War II veterans were also honored.

It was a room full of American history and the men who helped form it.

"We look at what's going on in America today. We complain, and we think we have trouble, but the beauty is, we wouldn't have it had it not been for brave soldiers like him," Mayor A C Wharton said.

Believe it or not, at 104-years-old, Lawson still lived on his own at home.

Family said despite his age, he was as strong and independent as ever.


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