World War II veteran celebrates 100th birthday in Texas

AUSTIN, Texas — A World War II veteran who celebrated his 100th birthday this weekend received plenty of well wishes, including letters from President Joe Biden and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

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Henry Harlen Rogers was born Oct. 16, 1921, KVUE reported. He celebrated birthday No. 100 at the Pecan Ridge Memory Care in Austin, Texas, the television station said.

Rogers, a native of Kansas City, Missouri, enlisted in the Army in January 1941 received his commission as a first lieutenant in January 1943 at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. He was sent to Tampa, Florida, where the first lieutenant married Betty Jane Warner on March 7, 1943, according to the Tampa Tribune. Rogers met his future wife at a USO dance in Joplin, Missouri, during the summer of 1942, according to KVUE.

They were married for 63 years until Jane Warner Rogers’ death on April 29, 2006.

Henry Rogers served in the South Pacific theater during World War II and later fought in the Korean War, according to KVUE. He participated in the Berlin airlift during the late 1940s and remained in the Army until he retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1963, the television station reported.

Henry Rogers learned computer programming after he retired from the military and worked for the Veterans Administration Data Processing Center in South Austin, processing monthly benefits.

>> World War ll veteran from Texas celebrates 100th birthday

He paid tuition at the University of Texas for his four children, who all earned bachelor’s degrees, as well as his wife, who earned a master’s degree, KVUE reported.

“It is a privilege to wish you a happy 100th birthday and thank you for your service in the United States Army,” Biden wrote. “Though birthday celebrations may look different during these difficult times, I hope you take pride in all you have accomplished throughout your life.”

Rogers is the second World War II veteran to celebrate his 100th birthday this week.

William T. Johnston, of Bryan, Texas, who served as a carpenter’s mate second class in the U.S. Navy during World War II, turned 100 on Thursday, KAGS-TV reported.

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