CI Hero: Local woman honors WWII veteran on his 100th birthday

CI Heroes

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Prioritizing small but profound moments. A local woman made the most of a special day for a central Illinois veteran. Melissa Houston is this week’s CI Hero.

The month of January rings in a new year, a fresh start, a chance to renew. The month’s calendar days house a special one. January 30 is World War II Veteran Wade Wilson’s birthday. He celebrated 100 years of life.

“Be good, honor your country, work hard, and take care of your family,” said Wade Wilson.

Melissa Houston said her two decade friendship with the Bartonville veteran brings a unique perspective to life.

“I wanted to make sure he had a good birthday just because he’s a great person,” said Houston. “He makes me smile every day so there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to make him smile.”

Houston said she did what anyone else would do. She honored a man who dedicated his life to his country and central Illinois.

“Everybody needs to smile,” said Houston. “Everybody needs a reason to smile and we need to be the people to give them a reason to smile. It’s our job as humans, in the United States of America, the country that these men fought for, to make someone else smile, so why not?”

The January bash was complete with cake, cards from across the globe, and of course, presents.
Houston said she’ll forever cherish the moments spent with her friend.

Nominate someone in your community to be our next CI Hero.

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