COLUMBUS, GA. (WRBL) – Retired Command Sergeant Major James White, of Columbus, Georgia, is a member of what is commonly referred to as the “greatest generation.”
Earlier this week, Retired Command Sergeant Major White celebrated his 100th birthday.
A shadowbox on the dining room table at White’s home conveys the story of his 24-year career in the Army.
The retired command sergeant major, who turned 100 on Tuesday, recalled 81 years ago when he decided to join the military. “I arranged to go to Macon on one of the trucks to get my eyes checked,” White said, “My eyes checked 20-20 and everything. I went around to the Army recruiting station and signed up.”
White’s son, Richard White, a 24-year Air Force veteran, came from Virginia to help his dad celebrate, “I enjoyed being a military dependent as much as he enjoyed being a professional soldier.”
White says his father went through basic training at Fort Benning in 1939. Then it was off to war, “He was in the campaign in North Africa, the invasion of North Africa, Lybia,” Tunisia, says White, “He went with Patton then to Sicily, the invasion of Sicily and Italy.”
White’s other assignments included Okinawa, Japan. During the Korean War he served with the 9th Corps in Hawaii. “He returned, came back to Fort Benning where he started,” says White’s son, “He ended up, he was a command sergeant major with the 2nd Infantry Division at Sand Hill.”
James White’s 100th birthday celebration included the presentation of a certificate by a Columbus Hospice chaplain honoring his years of service to our country.
Richard White is gratified to have a dad who is a member of the greatest generation, “For him and thousands like him, they saved the world, no doubt about it.”