Hometown Hero enjoys life at 99

By Amanda Porterfield | aporterfield@wcia.com

Published 04/25 2014 04:03PM

Updated 12/12 2014 10:59AM

URBANA -- As if fighting for our country wasn't enough. One Central Illinois veteran just celebrated his 99th birthday. WCIA-3's Amanda Porterfield finds out what keeps this Hometown Hero going.

When Paul Cain was born, the doctor arrived by horse and buggy and delivered him using a kerosene lamp. That was 1915.

"I was three when we got the first car. It was a Model T."

At 99 years old, he doesn't drive anymore.

"There's things you can't do. Couldn't see as good, couldn't hear as good. I get up in the morning and I read the obituaries and If I am not on it, I go on from there."

Boy, does he know how to live.

"I've enjoyed life. You are coming in on my happy hour. This is the time of day when I have a drink. Fix a toddy. Well, I'm sorry."

When he got drafted into the Army, Cain became part of history. He was supposed to do one year. Then, Pearl Harbor happened. He stayed in for five.

"If you haven't been there, then you don't know what it's like."

He was a company commander during World War II and says, for surviving that, he gives all the credit to the man upstairs and good philosophy.

"It's always been a philosophy all my life that if you run into a situation and don't run away from it, do something about it."

Cain has three Bronze Medals and a Silver Star. He calls that "adequate."

"My philosophy always is, can you leave this country a little bit better when you die than when you come into it? Can you?"

The keys to sticking around awhile?

"Do what you like to do, especially when you get older. Just live a good life."

Cain says, if he can just get to 102...

"Why not 105? We'll see if there's anybody left at 102."

"What do you want for your 100th birthday?"

"Nothing. Just still be alive. I'll figure out something when I get there."

Cain says his daughter is planning a big blowout for his 100th birthday.

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