Oklahoma City VA and community celebrate Veteran Phillip Reed’s 99th birthday.
Read served in the Army Airforce from 1944-1946 and was first stationed in Naples, Italy. He was on his way to Okinawa when his ship received word the Japanese had surrendered. Returning to Cole, he became active in the community and purchased the first firetruck for the town for $15. He was a firefighter and the town’s fire chief.
Read has lived in Cole, Oklahoma, his entire life. He was born in the house he currently lives in and continues to mow the lawn and do upkeep himself.
“This is the biggest birthday party, I’ve ever had,” Read said. “It’s nice, I wasn’t expecting it. After this party I gotta go home and rest. Someone’s coming to fix my lawnmower so I can finish mowing my yard before it gets hot.”
“Behave yourself and have great nurses”
‘He is very proud of his service.”
“We are so pleased so many people came out,” Michelle Temple, nurse and care manager, said of the birthday party. “He is absolutely not shy about sharing history and very proud of his service.”
Temple and the Home Based Primary Care program, Oklahoma City VA, visit Veteran patients in their homes to conduct labs and exams to keep Veterans at home and out of the hospital.
“He is a super healthy and wonderful man,” Temple said. “He is so independent and a real go getter.”
“This is the most awesome thing to honor one of our Veterans,” Nurse Moon Khorsandnia said. “This is perfect.”
Great-great-grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War
Read and his family had a long history of community service in Cole. His parents ran the local store and provided food and goods to the community during the depression when people were unable to afford it. His grandfather served in the Civil War and his great-great-grandfather fought during the Revolutionary war, according to his cousin, Ronnie Mason Sr.
“This was a great way to show appreciation for him,” Mason said. “I’ve been told by some of the people in this room that his family fed and helped so many people in this community during the depression.”
When asked about the secret to a healthy and long life: “I don’t know. I guess maybe just behaving yourself,” Read said. “My nurses have been really great too.”