Harold Hager of Steuben County, New York, recently celebrated his 100th birthday. But age is just a number to this U.S. Navy veteran who has spent nearly his entire life serving his country and fellow citizens.
Hager, who was born on on May 17, 1917, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Later, while employed at a glassmaking company in Corning, New York, Hager volunteered to deliver food and urgent supplies to those in need when a hurricane devastated his community in 1972.
When his beloved wife, Anna, fell ill in 2007 and had to live in a nursing home, Hager was there with her through it all.
“My father, everyday during visiting hours, during the week and through the weekends, seven days a week, he went at eleven o’clock in the morning and stayed with my mother until eight o’clock at night,” Hager’s son, John Hager, said in a recent interview with WENY News.
The dedicated husband and father visited his wife every single day until she died in 2010.
“We were together for 71 years and one month almost to the hour,” Hager told WENY News.
After his wife’s death, Hager joined the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, known as RSVP, which helps senior citizens find service opportunities in their communities based on their skills and availability. The organization connected Hager with Steuben County’s Habitat for Humanity, where he’s been volunteering ever since.
“Harold has been with us for a few years years now and he’s the volunteer who does the most number of hours here,” Matthew Harmer of Steuben County’s Habitat for Humanity said in a recent interview with WENY News. “He works the equivalent of about a twenty-hour work week.”
For the past two years, Hager has volunteered more hours than anyone at Steuben County’s Habitat for Humanity.
In May, RSVP honored Hager for his hard work and dedication to bettering the lives of those around him.
Hager told WENY News he hopes to reach age 105. Nevertheless, he said he plans to spend the rest his life as he has for the past 100 years, by helping others.
(H/T WENY News)