VIPER, Ky. (WYMT)- It’s taken decades for Perry County to honor one of its own heroes, but Retired Seaman Eugene Woods says it’s never too late.
“I’d say I’ve really been blessed,” Eugene said.
Eugene served as a Seaman First Class on the USS Cooper during World War II in the Philippians. More than half of the ship’s crew was killed when it was torpedoed by the Japanese.
Perry County recently dedicated a bridge in Middlefork of Maces Creek in Eugene’s honor.
“When I first saw it, it was probably about noon Thursday, I came straight home and told [my Dad] because he didn’t know it yet. It’s about time,” Eugene’s son, Dwaine Woods said.
Dedicating the bridge comes at a very special time for Eugene and his family. It is also his 90th birthday.
“I had 10 kids and it was pretty rough at times making it with them, but it all worked out pretty good, I’d say,” Eugene said.
Eugene's family made a special trip to Kentucky to celebrate this honor and to throw him a special birthday party.
“It’s great, you just don’t know how long you have left with them,” Dwaine added.
Even at 90 years old, Eugene says he still drives and passes over the bridge every time he makes a trip into town.
When asked about his favorite kind of birthday cake, Eugene said chocolate!