Jonathan Plasencia and Sydney Hunnicutt

Jonathan Plasencia shakes Sydney Hunnicutt’s hand.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

The McCurtain County VA Clinic and members of the local community gathered  in Idabel, Oklahoma to celebrate World War II Veteran Sydney Hunnicutt’s 102nd birthday.

“We truly care about the Veterans in our community and we just want to make a difference,” said Lisa Morphew, registered nurse and clinic manager. “We love our Veterans and want to show them that we’re here to help, whatever their needs are.”

VA clinic staff presented birthday cards and Jonathan Plasencia, associate director for the Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System, presented a gift bag to Hunnicutt on behalf of VA Voluntary Service.

Twelve of Hunnicutt’s family members were able to attend the party including several who were visiting from California. Dorothy Cash, Hunnicutt’s daughter, said she was grateful to the clinic and community who helped make the day special for her father.

“It means the world to us,” said Cash.

During World War II, Hunnicutt was drafted into the U.S. Army and deployed to the Philippines with the 63rd Infantry Regiment, 6th Infantry Division. During the Battle of Luzon, Hunnicutt fought the Japanese and was shot in his left hand. He lost two fingers and was later awarded a Purple Heart.

“It’s an honor to be here today to celebrate a member of the Greatest Generation,” said Plasencia, who drove from the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center in Muskogee to celebrate Hunnicutt’s milestone. “Veterans have many options for their health care and when they place their trust in VA, that is a privilege we do not take lightly.”

“It couldn’t have been better,” said Hunnicutt, who turns 102 on July 13.

group photo of Sydney Hunnicutt and clinic staff

Clinic staff join Sydney Hunnicutt for his 102nd birthday celebration.

Hunnicutt has been a patient at the clinic since it opened in 2017, and Dr. Jose Gomez has served as his primary care physician.

“He is so happy,” said Cash. “Dr. Gomez has been the best.”

Dr. Gomez said it’s been a privilege to provide care for Hunnicutt.

“I want to thank him for his courage and for putting his life on the line for us to be able to have the freedoms that we have,” he said. “It’s an honor just to shake his hand.”

About the author: Nate Schaeffer, public affairs specialist for the Eastern Oklahoma Health Care System. 

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Published on Jul. 15, 2019

Estimated reading time is 2.1 min.

Views to date: 126


  1. mike July 19, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    Happy Birthday , what a life you have had but being a cancer it was easy to serve and enjoy the people in your life, Congrats!

  2. Georges Kokoon July 16, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    102 Years of memory.. that’s a lot of lines in a lot of books..
    Dr. Gomez must be impressed to stand up in front of those memory pillars…

  3. yalla shoot July 16, 2019 at 9:57 am

    Amy is truly a friend to Brown, but it’s business first for both. Brown takes Amy’s status as a service dog seriously and is quick to point out the distinctions between a service dog and a normal pet. Attached to Amy’s harness is an ID card that make’s Amy’s status as a service dog official.

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