World War II, Korean War veteran turning 102 years old on Veterans Day

Published: Nov. 8, 2023 at 6:29 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - A special birthday celebration is in the works for one veteran here in Michiana.

Arnold Compas will be turning 102 years old on Veterans Day this Saturday. He served in both World War II and the Korean War.

Compas enlisted into the Air Force in 1942 and served for three and a half years as a radio operator. He also accomplished 500 hours in the air.

As World War II was happening, Compas said that he was in the states, but was moved around at least a dozen times and went to school for training for B-26 bombers, gunners, radio, morse code, and more.

After World War II, Compas was honorably discharged and then called back in 1950 to serve in the Korean War, where he worked in the court of masters. He supplied the troops with the supplies that they needed.

Arnold told 16 News Now why he decided to enlist in the military from the beginning and what kept him motivated.

“World War II was going on, so I probably would have been drafted if I hadn’t volunteered,” he said. “So, I decided to volunteer and get into the branch of service that I wanted to be in. I was young and energetic. I always believed in doing things and doing things right, and I figured I can serve my country.”

Compas wears his veteran cap every day around the community. He says the fact that he never drank any alcohol or smoked probably plays a big factor as to why he has lived such a long and healthy life.