PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Tyndall Air Force Base honored veterans Friday afternoon in its annual golden age holiday party. This is the 32nd year the base has hosted the event, but it’s the first since Hurricane Michael.
Decades after serving their country 150 veterans enjoyed a holiday party at Tyndall Air Force Base. Many in attendance now live at Sims Nursing Home.
One veteran is 99-year-old Jean Strickland. Strickland joined the Coast Guard during World War II to serve her country.
“On the radio, they were announcing they need all the girls they can get so the men can be released,” Strickland said.
Strickland signed up and was assigned to San Francisco. She became a switchboard operator.
“Planes were coming and going and they were folding up the parachutes,” Strickland said.
She also made public address announcements for two years until 1945, when the war ended.
“I was protecting my family. My country too,” Strickland said.
She will turn 100 on Christmas.