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Celebrating 102 years of life

Surrounded by family, friends and others who wanted to take part in the festivities, Leslie Linger celebrated a big birthday, 102. (ABC 7 Amarillo - Lia Kamana)

One resident of the Ussery-Roan Texas State Veterans Home reached a major milestone on Friday, July 6.

Surrounded by family, friends and others who wanted to take part in the festivities, Leslie Linger celebrated a big birthday, 102.

In his 102-years, Leslie Linger has accomplished more than most.

"He's been in every state in the contingent United States, swam in both oceans and the Gulf, and spent weeks at a time on the train going from east coast to west coast," said Linger's son Joe.

But it's through his service that he's made an impact on all those around him.

"He's an example for young men everywhere. He's lived his life in an exemplary fashion and we're proud to have him as a resident here," said Veterans Home Administrator, Bob DuPriest.

Linger spent most of his life as a farmer in Vega. His time in the military, the only time he was ever away.

"He went in, in 1940 and served a little over four years. Started off in the Army and then transferred to the Army Air Corps where he spent the rest of his service," said Joe.

He worked his way to Tech Sergeant before being honorable discharged.

"His unit group, was responsible for processing all the paper work for those going overseas," said Joe.

After serving his country, Linger returned home and served his community. He was involved in the City Government and was a Boy Scout leader for 14-years.

"He always devoted 100-percent to whatever he was doing and he expected that out of employees. Always fair. He treated, especially the Boy Scouts, equally. He did a great job," said Joe.

Even now, he continues to leave an impression on those around him.

"He has a tremendous sense of humor. If you saw during the cake cutting, he's a cut up, he gets those little dry jokes in there. You got to love that sense of humor at his age. It's wonderful," said DuPriest.

Linger doesn't get to eat sweets often, but for his birthday he got to have a piece of his favorite cake, strawberry rhubarb.

And his secret wish when he blew out the candles?

Another hundred years.

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