99-Year-Old Veteran Inspires Community, Stays Fit with Beach Walks

by Jonathan Howard

Veterans, y’all. They have a way of inspiring entire communities. Take 99-year-old Joe Bush for instance from Huntington Beach, CA.

Bush has lived quite the life. Born on May 22, 1922, the World War II vet has done more than most of us could do with three lifetimes. Just for your information, Warren G Harding was still president. Now, 18 presidents later, Bush is going strong and uplifting his entire community.

For the last 20 years, the 99-year-old veteran has been going down to Bolsa Chica State Beach and walking. He gets up at 5 in the morning to keep his old body young. “I’m in good shape,” he told ABC 7, smiling.

Throughout his time going to the beach, Bush has met lots of other folks. Some he passes by, others approach him. With his age, he has lots of wisdom and he is more than happy to dish out a piece of advice or tell a story when he does meet someone. The best part is, “They all know me by the name of Joe or grandpop,” he explained.

In his lifetime, he has gone through a lot. The Great Depression, WWII, and he’s been all over the world. Joe said to reporters that he has been to Japan, China, Africa, and England during his life. However, it is clear that Huntington and Bolsa Chica in particular is his favorite place to be.

Grandpop Joe Hopes to Live to 100

As you may have noticed, next May marks Joe’s 100th birthday. That is an accomplishment he hopes to achieve and see out. His ability to inspire folks in his community and stay active at his age is truly remarkable.

I hope I’m going like that when I’m 50, let alone almost pushing a century.

Over the years, there have been many people that have taken notice of his walks. Kevin Klepfer, a park official at the beach had a perfect statement on Bush. “He’s pretty much an icon around here. He’s a legend.”

As far as the secret to a long, healthy, and active life? Well, that’s pretty simple for Grandpop Joe as well. You gotta get out and do the healthy things. Be active, eat good, and make sure you take care of yourself. “I feel good. I’ve got such good friends around me.”

The veteran is just the latest example of why the Greatest Generation is the Greatest.

82-Year-Old Veteran Honored Earlier This Year

It is just great to see veterans get the respect they deserve. Last month, another older vet made headlines. The FAA gave Carroll William Joye, former Air Force received the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award for 50 years of flying. That’s a lot of air miles.

Over the course of those 50 years, Joye served in the Air Force and even outside of his service has not had a serious incident or accident in that time. “It is a big thing,” the veteran explained.