‘I’m just happy to be here’: WWII veteran celebrates 107 years of life

Kentucky officials celebrated the birthday of the commonwealth’s oldest known WWII veteran on Monday. Oakley Hacker turned 107 years old. (SOURCE: WBKO)
Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 5:13 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT/Gray News) - A man believed to be the oldest World War II veteran in Kentucky just celebrated his 107th birthday.

Oakley Hacker served in the U.S. Navy during the war.

Hacker’s friends and family gathered with him Monday at the Eastern Kentucky Veterans Center to celebrate.

“I feel good about it, nothing hurts me ever,” Hacker said.

Hacker was honored by Senate President Robert Stivers, who said it is great to honor someone who put his life on the line for his country.

“Thank you for all you’ve done and your service, Mr. Hacker,” he told the veteran. “It was a little time-consuming but well worth the time.”

Stivers said it is important to remember a part of history, and hearing all of the stories from Hacker puts it all in perspective.

“He was talking about the bank collapse in the Great Depression,” Stivers said. “You don’t know people that experienced that. Young people, even people of my age, (should) visit with people like Oakley Hacker.”

Hacker said he is taking things one step at a time in his old age.

“No plans at all, just take them as they come,” he said.

While celebrating his day with cake and ice cream, Hacker said he does not have a secret to living long.

“I don’t know if there’s a secret to it or not, I’m just happy to be here,” he said.