WWII veteran and The Players Golf Tournament special guest Anita Morris has a prime seat up front at the event.
The 100-year-old Jacksonville, Fla. resident joined the US Coast Guard 80 years ago and participated in America’s fight against Germany so many years ago.
This week, The Players Tournament is honoring the World War II veteran for her service.
“I’m very proud that I served my country,” Morris told News4JAX.
Morris told the news station that she feels like, “maybe I’ve given a little bit back to my country when it has given me everything. I love America. I love the service.”
The World War II veteran will be honored as a distinguished guest at this year’s military appreciation ceremony at The Players. She’ll be the oldest veteran there, of course, with a front-row seat to the patriotic presentation Tuesday afternoon.
World War II Veteran Celebrated At The Players Event
The mother and grandmother proudly served all those years ago.
She told the TV station that her family history began in Italy with her parents immigrating to the United States. They prospered with a small business when they came here, only to lose it all in the Great Depression.
Bad fortune followed with her father dying. Her mother did her best to raise two girls. When World War II started, Morris was a college sophomore.
But she left her studies to serve her country and provide for the family.
“I was watching everything and, of course, I didn’t want to leave mom, but I was saying to myself I need to do something for my country,” she said. “I just had this urge, and it was so strong in me. I did not have any man in our family who could serve. And I felt it was my duty to do it. So I enlisted during the war.”
While serving the country in Jacksonville, she had some significant assignments. They included guarding America’s coasts and ports along with a turn behind the microphone as a radio broadcaster.
Morris said that with so many “of us in the service,” she was fortunate to have some “outstanding assignments.”
Morris Met Husband During War, Started Family Soon After
The veteran ended up meeting her husband during that time, and they married right after the war in 1945. The couple had two children, and she also worked some for the United Service Organizations.
Tragedy struck again with her husband and son dying a year apart. Now, her daughter Melody serves as her caretaker.
Morris said she’s lived “a very happy and sad life.” But the World War II veteran and The Players’ special guest coped through it all.
What’s her advice for living a long life?
“We just have to go with the flow,” Morris said. “Just enjoy it when you can. And when you can’t, then you have to pray a lot. It works.”