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Tennessee war hero celebrates his 103rd birthday

Veteran Tommy Gwynn
Posted at 5:23 PM, Jun 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-03 06:31:19-04

TULLAHOMA, Tenn. (WTVF)  — A local war hero turned 103 years old so his home health care team at the VA threw him a birthday party.

Army Ranger Tommy Gwynn was a prisoner of war twice and escaped captivity.

"I don’t want no praise, but the Holy Spirit did it, and my body," Gwynn said.

He said God saved him multiple times in Korea and during World War II. He's a 12-time purple heart recipient and has been awarded a plethora of medals.

Tommy Gwynn
Tommy Gwynn

Through the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System's home-based primary care and geriatrics program, nurses and doctors developed a close relationship with Gwynn.

"He was 12 times severely wounded and still went back into the fight," Dr. Ralf Habermann said.

Out of all his accolades, Gwynn even has a song about him called the "Devil Don't Want Me" by John Sever.

"Highlight of my career meeting you," Sever said.

Gwynn doesn’t have much family left in the area, so the community and church members have stepped in to fill that role.

"Well he’s one of a kind individual,” Jerry Seale said. “He’s outlived a bunch of folks."

Jerry and Sandra Seale from First Baptist Church in Tullahoma check on Gwynn frequently.

"He’s a remarkable individual," Seale said.

After many laughs and birthday cake, Gwynn made sure to tell his friends that he's "the best ranger there ever was."

He also received the Legion of Honor award which is the highest French order of merit for the military. It was established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte.