Tuesday marked important birthdays for both the United States of America and a man who fought for its freedom.
Louisiana resident Leon “Bubby” Minvielle, Jr. turned 100 this past Fourth of July.
“I never thought I would live to be 50 years old. And here I am twice that age,” Minvielle told KLFY during his blowout Independence Day celebration, where people of all ages were in attendance.
— Lester Duhé KLFY (@LesterDuhe) July 4, 2017
Minvielle is a decorated World War II veteran who served in Europe in the 31st Tank Battalion of the 7th Armored Division.
“They spear-headed Patton through Europe,” said Minvielle’s son, Leon Minvielle III. “He was at St. Lo, St. Vith, Battle of the Bulge and received the bronze star, purple heart.”
Minvielle described his time in Europe as “tough” but credited a higher power for keeping him safe.
“I was lucky,” he said. “God took care, saved me.”
After the war, Minvielle settled down in Louisiana and served on the Iberia Parish School Board. In addition, he served as president of the Peoples National Bank and, as part of the reserves, he taught returning veterans who were trying to get a G.E.D.
“You know, he’s always given of himself to everybody,” his son said, describing him as a “very unselfish” and “very humble person.”
The staff at Azalea Estates, the assisted living community in New Iberia, where Minvielle resides, described the veteran as a “walking history book” who they all learn from.
“To be 100 years old and be a veteran and be born on America’s birthday, it’s just remarkable,” said Robin Robichaux, one of his caretakers. “…We’re just blessed that he called Azaela Estates his home.”