BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — A veteran in Battle Creek not only reached an amazing milestone Thursday, he also celebrated it by going back to what he did decades ago.
Retired Col. Robert “Bob” Munie served in the U.S. Army during World War II in the European theater and then re-enlisted in the Air Force in 1953. He lived through it all, even to his 100th birthday.
He told Retired Air Force Col. Frank J. Walker that his wish for his special day was to simply serve again.
“That just tells you what kind of patriot he is,” Walker said.
Not only was it granted, but he was also warmly greeted by family and military members outside his home at Lakeview Assisted Living in Battle Creek. Walker said Munie did more than serve under two military branches.
“He went on to work in the Department of Defense for 49 years,” Walker said. “Then every time I came out here (to Lakeview Assisted Living), he was in a World War II hat. (He is) proud of his service. So what else can we do?”
For starters, “Happy Birthday” was sung to Munie, and his grandson currently serving in the Army National Guard helped him put on a tailored Air Force uniform.
Michigan’s newest centenarian was also gifted his special wish.
Munie received an order from the Michigan Active-Duty General, the highest-ranking officer in the state of Michigan, making him active duty for the day as an honorary member “in good standing” of the Michigan National Guard. He was not just re-enlisted, but also given a promotion higher than his previous rank of colonel.
“Know ye, that reposing special trust and confidence, and the patriotism, valor, fidelity and ability of Robert Francis Munie, I do hereby appoint you technical sergeant in the Michigan Air National Guard effective the sixth of October 2022,” read the proclamation from the Michigan Active-Duty General’s office.
The ceremony included many presentations, as well as a key to the city of Battle Creek from Mark Behnke and a special two-plane flyover by the Hooligan Flight Team. Munie also received many gifts, including a month’s salary in 1953 money — representing the year he re-enlisted with the Air Force — which came to just more than $130.
“This is small compared to all of the accomplishments he has done,” Walker said. “So it is my privilege and our privilege to make his dream come true.”
Munie was given a couple of “tasks” by Walker. One of them is that whenever Walker visits, Munie must be in uniform.
When asked what his favorite part of the surprise was, Munie said four simple words: “It was all good.”