- Associated Press - Monday, January 4, 2016

OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) - Living alone and driving yourself around in your Ford F-150 is not the life of a typical 100-year-old.

Melville native Wilson “Dubb” Robertson is not a typical 100-year-old.

The World War II veteran celebrated a century on Earth with a birthday celebration Wednesday in Opelousas at Pat Mason-Guillory’s home.

Mason-Guillory heads the St. Landry Parish Veterans Memorial Committee.

“I’m trying to make it to 120 years old,” Robertson told everyone with a laugh. “That’s how far I want to go.”

Robertson was 25 years old when he joined the Army and served from 1941-45 as a private first class during the war, where he earned numerous medals including the Purple Heart. His most memorable moment was when it was all over.

“When I got off the plane in the United States, I knelt down and kissed the ground,” he said. “That was the best moment I know of.”

Robertson said he had nine children, but it was hard to keep up with the exact amount of grandchildren and great grandchildren he had. He said throughout his time, he has seen a lot of changes, but none more than two events.

“The biggest change was when Martin Luther King Jr. was marching,” Robertson recalled. “I thought that was great. There wasn’t any violence, they were just walking. God was backing him 100 percent. Also having a black president was another great thing.”

Mason-Guillory said the veterans memorial committee’s motto is to make sure veterans such as Robertson are remembered.

“It’s not every day that we are in the midst of a 100-year-old veteran,” she said. “I’m fascinated with him being able to take care of himself, live alone and drive an F-150 and I have the pleasure of being in his company a lot.

“I’m hoping that these types of activities that we’re (veterans memorial committee) doing will be instilled into our younger generation,” she continued. “We must continue to honor veterans so that our younger generation will pay tribute to them and know that freedom is not free.”

Melville Mayor Erana Mayes and the town council declared Dec. 23 Mr. Wilson “Dubb” Robertson Day on his 100th birthday. Robertson worked as a janitor for the Melville school system until he retired in 1982; after retirement, he was a cattleman until 2011. He currently serves as a deacon at Emma Zion Baptist Church and is a member of the Johnson Square Lodge Number 178.

“The greatest thing I learned is treat everyone like you want to be treated,” Robertson said. “Don’t mistreat anybody. I don’t care who they are or where they come from. They were given the same privileges you have.”


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