'I'm one of the blessed ones': World War II veteran from Lake Charles turns 110 on Friday _lowres

Frank Levingston (Photo courtesy of KPLC)

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LAKE CHARLES (AP) — A World War II veteran in Louisiana turns 110 on Friday.

KPLC-TV reports that Frank Levingston, one of seven children, was born in 1905 and grew up in northern Louisiana. He said he can remember the day he joined the Army and the day he was discharged.

"I've been through so many dangerous things and I'm still here. I'm thankful to the almighty God for it," he said.

Levingston was an Army private and served during the war in the Naples-Foggia Campaign in Italy, which lasted from September 1943 to January 1944. He was discharged in 1945.

Now living in the Louisiana city of Lake Charles, Levingston said he doesn't go a day now without being thankful for his long life. "I think I'm one of the blessed ones," said Levingston, who looks forward to celebrating his birthday with relatives this weekend in Shreveport.

His good friend, Pamela Gobert, met Levingston shortly before he turned 104.

"He's always got a kind word and he lets me know that sometimes it's not how you start, it's how you finish," said Gobert. "Not as me a blessing to him, but him as a blessing to me because that's all he's ever been. He taught me about life."

Levingston said he had little formal education, but was taught important lessons by his parents he still holds on to and shares with those around him.

"Be honest. That goes a long ways," said Levingston.

Levingston recently received a letter from the White House congratulating him on his birthday and thanking him for his service. "We trust you take enormous pride in everything you have accomplished," Gobert read from the letter to Levingston.