99-year-old Veteran reflects on his days in World War II

Veterans Voices

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – It can be hard to find things to do while in quarantine during a pandemic. But that isn’t stopping a World War II veteran from making every day count.

Being stuck inside can make it easy to run out of things to do. But for 99-year-old war veteran Gordon Carlson, it’s the exact opposite.

“We’re permitted to visit with our… other residents here and find out what they’re doing. So the day goes by,” Carlson said.

He keeps active thanks to programs put on at The Good Samaritan Society.

“In the summer time, he ways always gardening and bringing in his beautiful flowers,” Program Director at The Good Samaritan Society’s Prairie Creek Location Barbara Jost said.

“Last year, I grew about 70 or 80 Gladiolas, and I cut them and bring them in to the ladies, but I never won a lady-friend in spite of it,” Carlson said.

Carlson turns 100-years-old in December, and he’s not letting age slow him down.

“I have the unusual hobby of growing things; I have a ‘grow box’ the same as a green house in my room. They’ve given me permission to build four raised garden boxes,” Carlson said.

Every year, on Veteran’s Day, he does take time to stop and recount his days serving in World War II.

Carlson in 1945.

“While I was in, both the President died and Germany surrendered,” Carlson said.

While he never saw battle directly, he was always there providing help to those who were.

“I was a telephone man. I’d run wires from Howitzer’s to the front line where soldiers were fighting so they could have communication with the officers handling the ammunition back there,” Carlson said.

Even though war can be hard on a majority of veterans, Carlson looks back on his time with gratitude and positivity.

“I think I served a year to entitle and enable the fighting men to go home,” Carlson said.

A spirit that is recognized at Good Sam for continuing to encourage and support fellow residents and staff every day.

99-year-old Gordon Carlson.

“‘He’s always my right-hand guy,’ I always say because he’ll always participate and I can always count on him,” Jost said.

Tonight, KELOLAND Media Group is airing their Veteran’s Voices Special. You’ll hear the touching stories from Veterans all across KELOLAND. It airs tonight at 6:30 central time

For more information on The Good Samaritan Society and their services, you can visit their website.

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