TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - On November 20, Wilson Dickson will be 100 years old. According to him, the secret to a long life is simple.
“Luck!” Dickson exclaims while laughing.
He served in World War II, “the big one”, he said, as an engineer aboard the USS LSM 51.
“Making it run,” said Dickson. “I was in charge of all the mechanical stuff on the ship.”
He loves sharing stories about that ship and his service.
“See that ramp there?” asks Dickson pointing to photographs. “That ramp was how I’d get on top of that battleship.”
Dickson said he wakes up every day hoping to try something new.
“I’ve got a curious mind. Have you noticed bananas?" Dickson said continuing on to explain how bananas are different than they were two years ago because one species of them died off.
He said he’s proud of what he has accomplished in his 100 years.
“I’ve enjoyed my lifetime history,” said Dickson. “Well, I like to figure something that I did that will never be changed.”
His family says they value every minute they get to share with him.
“Having to try not to take it for granted is the hardest part because he won’t be here forever,” said Mitch Dickson, Wilson’s son. “Trying to get all the stories out while he can still do it, so that we can have the memories.”
His family is hoping the community will help them value him as well.
“He loves people, he’s a social butterfly,” said Dora Dickson, Wilson’s daughter-in-law. “We put it out on Facebook for people to send him cards because he is a veteran, he is 100 years old and he did serve our country and he loves our country so much.”
Dickson is the grandfather of Samantha Watkins, the Kilgore student who inspired “Sam’s Law”.
If you’d like to send a card to Dickson for his 100th birthday, the address is listed below:
P.O. Box 1204
If you’d like to learn more about the ship Dickson served on and his time during the war, head to this website.