The McCurtain County VA Clinic and members of the local community came together to celebrate World War II Veteran Sydney Hunnicutt 102nd birthday on July 11 at the VA clinic in Idabel, Okla. 
According to the Press Release by Nate Schaeffer, Pruett's Food, a grocery store in Broken Bow, donated a cake for the party, several family members of Veterans who receive their care at the clinic donated ice cream, and the Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Broken Bow donated drinks.

VA clinic staff also presented birthday cards to Hunnicutt and Jonathan Plasencia, Associate Director for the Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System, presented a gift bag from VA Voluntary Service.

“We truly care about the Veterans in our community and we just want to make a difference,” said Lisa Morphew, RN and Clinic Manager. “We love our Veterans and want to show them that we’re here to help, whatever their needs are.”

A total of 12 of Hunnicutt’s family members were able to attend the party including several who were visiting from California. Dorothy Cash, Hunnicutt’s daughter, said she was grateful to the clinic and community who helped make the day special for her father.

“It means the world to us,” said Cash.

World War II Veteran Sydney Hunnicutt poses for a photo with family members who attended his 102nd birthday celebration on July 11 at the McCurtain County VA Clinic in Idabel, Okla. - Nate Schaeffer

After cake and ice cream were served, those who attended wished Hunnicutt personal birthday wishes and shook his hand.

“It couldn’t have been better,” said Hunnicutt, who turns 102 on July 13.

During World War II, Hunnicutt was drafted into the U.S. Army and deployed to the Phillipines with the 63rd Infantry Regiment, 6th Infantry Division. During the Battle of Luzon, Hunnicutt fought the Japanese and was shot in his left hand. He lost two fingers and was later awarded a Purple Heart.

“It’s an honor to be here today to celebrate a member of the Greatest Generation,” said Plasencia, who drove from the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center in Muskogee to celebrate Hunnicutt’s milestone. “Veterans have many options for their health care and when they place their trust in VA, that is a privilege we do not take lightly.”
Hunnicutt has been a patient at the clinic since it opened in 2017 and Dr. Jose Gomez has served as his primary care physician.

“He is so happy,” said Cash. “Dr. Gomez has been the best.”

Dr. Gomez said it’s been a privilege to provide care for Hunnicutt.
“I want to thank him for his courage and for putting his life on the line for us to be able to have the freedoms that we have,” he said. “It’s an honor just to shake his hand.”