‘Not everyone looks this good at 100’ Local veteran receives plaque during Monday Muster

Published 1:19 pm Monday, July 3, 2023

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STANFORD — David M. Elder turned 100 years old on April 8, but you wouldn’t know it.

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Elder, wearing a hat that says ‘Not everyone looks this good at 100’ received a plaque commemorating his service in World War II, during a local Monday Muster event this week.

PFC David Elder served in the U.S. Army during World War II in the K Company, 180th Infantry, 45th Infantry Division.

The veteran was presented with a handmade wooden plaque by Carla Loveless-Tackett, of the Lincoln County Veteran’s Center and the Lincoln County Veteran and Military Suicide Prevention Coalition.

“It’s not every day we get to share a meal with an individual who is 100 years old,” Loveless-Tackett said. “We wanted to recognize him today and present him with this small plaque of appreciation, acknowledgement and recognition for his service and sacrifice.”

Elder entertained the crowd at the Monday Muster with his stories of past and present. At 100 years old, he’s still mowing three acres of grass and if it were up to him, he’d still be raking hay.

Times sure have changed over the last 100 years, he said. Elder said he spent more time working than he ever did in school.

“Did you work a lot?” Loveless-Tackett asked.

“Work a lot? I reckon I have,” he said. “You had to work to make money when I was growing up or you’d starve to death. You didn’t go to Walmart and buy anything you wanted. You had to raise it or go out in the field and kill something to eat…”

Elder joked about eating a groundhog once.

“I was working at a place one time, this boy said ‘Guess what we’re gonna have for dinner? I said I don’t know. He said, ‘we’re gonna have groundhog.’ Well, he had it baked, it tasted pretty good baked but I wouldn’t have eaten it if he had it boiled. I couldn’t go with boiled.”

By the end of the conversation, Elder had the whole room laughing.

Born in 1923, Elder said there aren’t many jobs he hasn’t worked.

“I built barns, I built houses, I welded, I did anything to make a living,” he said. “It’s really changed since I’ve been around.”

Calling all veterans

All veterans are invited to join the monthly Monday Muster, which is hosted by the Lincoln County Veterans Suicide Prevention Coalition.

Veterans are invited to have a free breakfast on the fourth Monday of every month, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Wellness Center located at Veterans Park in Stanford.

It is a great chance for veterans of all walks of life to get together with old friends, or make new friends, Loveless-Tackett said.

“It’s a chance for veterans to find peer camaraderie, break bread together and learn from one another about what has helped them progress,” she said. “Monday Muster is open to every veteran.”

The reoccurring event was formed by the local suicide prevention coalition to help veterans reduce their isolation and find like-minded individuals to spend time with, while sharing a free meal.

Tim Estes, who is part of the coalition, said at one time in the U.S. there were 22 veterans committing suicide per day. The group was formed to give local veterans a place to find friendship and help with anything they may need.

“There is someone to talk to. There are people that care. There are people that love you and people that support you,” Estes said. “We want to make sure that you all continually know that you are loved and you are thanked for what you do.”

Each breakfast is sponsored and free to veterans.

Anyone interested in sponsoring a veteran breakfast can contact Tim Estes at 606-669-8142.

Carla Loveless-Tackett of the Lincoln County Veteran’s Center presents WWII veteran David M. Elder with a plaque to recognize his service. Elder turned 100 years old on April 8. Photo by Abigail Roberts

WWII veteran David M. Elder, 100, receives a plaque during the Lincoln County Monday Muster on June 26 commemorating his service. Photo by Abigail Roberts

A handmade wooden plaque was presented to WWII veteran David Elder. Photo by Abigail Roberts