• WWII veteran celebrates 98th birthday in the gym

    By: Bob D'Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    GLADSTONE, Ore. - A World War II veteran celebrated his 98th birthday Wednesday by visiting an Oregon gym, a ritual he follows three times a week.

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    “It makes me feel good, like I’m strengthening what’s here,” Fred Lawrence, a former Marine and pastor, told KATU.

    Lawrence had three tours of duty in the military, the television station reported.

    “I’m so grateful to be alive, in this day, that I was committed to live. The good Lord is good, I just feel like he was with me. I’m so grateful,” Lawrence told KATU.

    Jeramy Yvarra, who said he has been “gym buddies” with Lawrence for several years, said his friend is an inspiration to others.

    “Fred to me is kind of like an adopted grandpa. Every time I see him, he gives me a big hug and tell me how happy he is to see me,” Yvarra told KATU. “And I think one of the other things I learn from Fred is the amount of gratitude he has for life.”

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