95 Year Old World War II Veteran Gets Birthday SurprisePosted: Updated:
Lieutenant Colonel Robert Wagoner of Alexandria Bay fought in France during World War II.
He remembers it well.
"There was nine wounded Americans that were...they couldn't get them out to the aid station. Nobody would take them. So I took them in my jeep. I made three trips through an artillery barrage. My jeep was hit a couple of times," he said.
That heroic act earned him a Bronze Star.
Last week, Wagoner turned 95 years old.
His family took him to Red Lobster in Watertown for his birthday, where something unexpected happened.
"Then our sister-in-law, Patty, who just is amazing with ideas, saw the military people over there and asked the waitress are they military over there and would they come over and shake, we call him grandpa's, hand," said Toni Howard, Wagoner's daughter.
That's when more than 30 active soldiers from Fort Drum came over to the table, shook Wagoner's hand, and sang him Happy Birthday.
"Very humbled 'cause I knew they were gonna go through what I had gone through, camaraderie," said Wagoner.
"We just thank them so much for coming and doing that we just wanted it special for dad and it made it special for all of us," said Howard.
Even to this day, Wagoner regales classes at Alexandria Central School with his World War II stories.
Now he has one more story to add.