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Santa Claus set a jolly mood during the birthday celebration for World War II veterans Bud Hill, left, and Major Wooten. Forever Young Senior Veterans hosted the event. CONTRIBUTED

Hill, Wooten celebrate centenarian birthdays

MADISON – Two veterans of World War II recently celebrated their centenarian birthdays. Bud Hill observed his 102nd birthday. Major Wooten of Madison is 103 years old.

Relatives and friends gathered for multiple ceremonies during the first week of December to extend ‘best wishes’ and add to the festivities with Hill and Wooten.

Wooten was guest of honor for a gathering at First Baptist Church of Huntsville on Dec. 3. Close to 100 friends and family members attended and presented numerous gifts to Wooten. His granddaughter, Holly McDonald of Madison, gave her grandfather a shadow box that contains all of his military service decorations.

For Wooten’s second celebration, the non-profit group Forever Young Senior Veterans of Alabama hosted the gathering at Dynetics in Cummings Research Park. Wooten is an active member of the local Forever Young Senior Veterans group.

More than 100 guests attended this party, which included members of Forever Young Senior Veterans spanning World War Two, the Korean War, Vietnam War and Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Family friends, teachers and students from local schools also attended, along with staff of Forever Young Senior Veterans and members of Madison American Legion, Post 229.

Bud Hill also was treated to a party for his 102nd birthday. Hill initially served with the U.S. Merchant Marine and later transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Wooten is a veteran of the U.S. Army and saw service in the European Theater as a member of the 764th Railway Battalion following the D-Day invasion of France. His unit was responsible for restoring the rail systems in and around Paris for use to sustain the Allied advance toward Germany, according to Richard Lewis Blanton, Jr. with Madison American Legion..

Forever Young Senior Veterans of Alabama holds monthly meetings on first Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. in Dynetics’ conference room at 1002 Explorer Blvd in Huntsville. For more information, visit foreveryoungvets.org/alabama.

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