Franklin County WW2 veteran turns 100

Franklin County WW2 veteran turns 100
Published: Sep. 24, 2023 at 10:36 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - As we get older, birthdays can sometimes lose their excitement.

For Chester Pulliam, this birthday is especially exciting.

“It’s better than 99,” Pulliam said.

September 25th marks the Franklin County native’s 100th birthday.

“He’s older than sliced bread,” said Pulliam’s daughter, Karen. “He’s older than when only 60 percent of the population had cars.”

Karen said there was a time when Chester did not know if he would live to see this day.

“Right after he graduated from high school, he went into the Navy, was on several ships, and the one that stands out the most for me is the Franklin, ‘cause that’s the one where he almost died,” she said.

Pulliam survived the bombing of the USS Franklin off the coast of Japan in 1945, a time in his life that still lingers with him to this day.

“Actually, I had [PTSD] for quite a while, and I’m not sure I’m over it, but I survived,” said Pulliam.

He left the Navy after three years and went on to run a dairy farm and a car dealership.

In honor of his special day, his loved ones hosted a 100th birthday celebration at the Frankfort VFW.

“I got to see friends, and of course most of them are younger than me,” said Pulliam.

He said age is just a number and the events and experiences he’s lived through are the key to living a long and simple life.

“Keep working and I think that having some faith to fall back on is a good thing to have,” he said.

Pulliam added that when he looks back on the last 100 years, he doesn’t have a favorite point in time, he just tries to enjoy the entire picture.