BON AQUA, Tenn. – It’s Fourth of July at the Brewer residence, and in the kitchen the ladies were preparing the food. In the adjacent room Ted Brewer was greeting guests he hasn't seen in years.
Among the crowd were some strangers with a few very special gifts. One was the Commissioner for Tennessee Department of Veteran Affairs who arrived to present Brewer with multiple medals and ribbons.
"My goodness, I'll have to build another room on this house for all this," joked Brewer.
As Americans celebrated the nation's 239th birthday, the World War II veteran celebrated his 90th. For him, birthday celebrations have been few and far between.
"Until he was 80 we never had a birthday party. This is his second birthday party of his life," stepdaughter, Debby Mistler said.
Outside in the front lawn the tables were covered in red, white and blue; except for one which was decorated with some of the highest honors given to civilians and veterans.
"I've had a wonderful life evidently," Brewer laughed. "This is just amazing to me, Jonquil. I expected the neighbors and family but they came from Ohio, they came from Illinois, they come from Michigan. Some I haven't seen for years."
For this former Navy submariner, this Fourth of July was a bang, even without fireworks.
"Family and friends, that's what this whole country's about, family and friends," Brewer said.