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100 year old veteran honored

Published: Oct. 1, 2020 at 5:09 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - A 100-year-old veteran was honored Thursday surrounded by four generations of family and fellow local veterans. WWII veteran Merle Cheek was honored as an Admiral in the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska. His family says this was a special day for them to celebrate life.

“I just felt it was really neat to be able to honor dad and it’s been such a pleasure to hear about all the places he traveled and the stories he’s told me over the years when he was in World War II,” said Merle’s daughter, Donna Mahnken.

Merle’s wife of almost 70 years, Stella Cheek, said he carried his faith with him during his time in the war.

“Merle was a devout Christian when he went into the service and had the opportunity to share his faith with many of the young people that were with him,” said Stella Cheek.

Captain Schmidt with Troop D of the State Patrol announced the proclamation and The St. Pats band played, which Merle’s family says they appreciate.

“Many young people have not met a veteran that’s over 100 though there are many. So that meant a lot to be able to have a band out here today and others participate,” said Merle’s son, George Cheek.

The day concluded with Merle and his family spending time together reflecting on his many stories. His family says they love to listen to his stories of his long life.

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