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World War II veteran still serving his country at nearly 90 years old

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BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Newschannel 3 is proud to present a story that came to our attention thanks to a phone call from the very proud wife of an accomplished war veteran.

Ellen Eldridge said her husband David not only served in the Navy, but also spent fifty years on the Augusta Fire Department.

The local hero isn’t fighting enemies or fires anymore, but he hasn’t stopped serving his country.

Newschannel 3 caught up with David in Battle Creek, where he was volunteering.

David Eldridge is a man of very few words, but as the saying goes, his actions speak louder anyways.

Eldridge, a World War II veteran, is nearly 90 years old, he joined the Navy in 1945.

“Every boy that graduates from high school should serve a year,” said Eldridge. “Discipline, discipline.”

These days, Eldridge serves his country by collecting coins and cash outside of the Family Farm and Homes Store in Battle Creek for eight hours at a time.

“I do it because there are many veterans that need help and this money goes to our relief fund,” said Eldridge. “If a veteran gets into trouble, a car breaks down or something, we can help them out.”

For fourteen years, Eldridge has traded donations for a small but symbolic flower.

“This poppy honors the boys that were killed in World War I,” said Eldridge.

Poppies grow in Flanders Fields, an area in France where millions of Allied soldiers died defending our freedoms. It’s what stopped passerby Peggy Stephan.

“Oh, I love all the veterans,” said Stephan. “They sacrifice so much for us to have our freedoms that we enjoy every day.”

Stephan said she couldn’t spare much, but hopes to raise awareness.

“I’m going to wear it proudly,” said Stephan.

If you would like to make a donation to help Eldridge’s cause. He, or another war veteran will be in the same spot, the Family Farm and Home outside of Battle Creek, every Thursday and Friday.

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