World War II veteran Frank Sauter turns 95-years-old Thursday, Oct. 24, but he celebrated early Sunday, Oct. 13, with his friends and family at the Primrose Retirement Community.
According to Sauter, he had reservations in the U.S. Air Force, but was drafted into WW II in 1943 in the U.S. Army and completed his basic training in Alabama.
"I went over to New Guinea...a few things were nice over there, but very few...They didn't have much. Just a few chickens running around and a few wild pigs," he said. "We'd go down there and help people...On a whole the natives there depended on us and we depended on them."
The veteran said he received a lot of training in combat, chemical warfare and other aspects of the war.
Sauter said he was in New Guinea in 1944 and traveled back and forth to Australia and the Philippines between 1944 and 1946.
"We had gas bombs with us and we had to follow those things wherever they went and make sure nothing happened to them," Sauter said. "While I was over in the South Pacific I was on board a ship five times. That's five times we moved those gas bombs."
During his time in WWII, the veteran received a Bronze Star.
Sauter said he returned after the war ended to St. Louis, Missouri on Feb. 15, 1946 and found his parents and eventually married his first wife, Ruth, who he went to high school with.
Sauter said he and Ruth were married for over 50 years and she passed away from a heart attack in 2002. After retiring from his job at an aircraft company in 1999, he went to Branson, Missouri and it was there that he met his current wife, Mattie.
"As I was getting a ticket for me for the Branson Belle, that's a sightseeing boat down there, I met her and she started talking to me and rather than go back to the room...I sat down on a bench and she was doing the same thing," he said.
Mattie said she is the reason Sauter ended up in Oklahoma, because after dating for a little while and a few visits, he took her to Florida.
"I had a place in Florida and I often go down there and I said 'it's kind of lonesome going down there by yourself' and she said 'stop by and come get me. So I did...and from then on it's history."
The couple have been married for 17 years and have lived at Primrose for the last seven years.
Mattie said her son and his wife organized Frank's 95th birthday party on Oct. 13 and it was a fun gathering.
"It was a wonderful party. It was great," Mattie said.
Frank's birthday is Oct. 24 and though he won't celebrate on his actual birthday, both he and Mattie were more than happy to celebrate with family and friends.