PLANT CITY, Florida - A decorated WW II Marine broke down while reflecting on the state of the country. “That isn’t what we fought for.”
On June 29, Carl Spurlin Dekel turned 100. A group of family and friends gathered to celebrate his life and to honor his service to our country.
Dekel, wearing his dress blues, took a break from the festivities to speak with a reporter from Tampa’s Fox 13 News.
He said he joined the Marines in September 1940 and that they shipped him straight to the Navy base in Guantanamo and put him in a machine gun company.
“It was an honor to serve my country,” said Dekel, adding that he would, without a doubt, do it again, even after admitting, “we were scared all the time.”
The Silver Star Medal he wore on his chest along with the others is his pride and joy. “It says gallantry in action,” said Dekel.
Dekel said he has lived a good life and has had a lot of happiness. “If I went into my church and didn’t say everything was beautiful, they would think I was sick,” he said.
He starts becoming emotional as he speaks about the current state of our country.
“People don’t realize what they have; they bitch about it,” he said, adding, “nowadays, I am so upset that the things that we did, and the things we fought for, and the boys that died for it…it’s all gone down the drain.”
Dekel continued, “Our country’s goin’ to hell in a handbasket. We haven’t got the country we had when I was raised – not at all.” Dekel is visibly upset when he says, “Nobody will ever have the fun I had. Nobody will have the opportunity I had – it’s not the same.”
“That’s not what our boys…that’s not what they died for, that’s not it,” he said, before becoming too upset to speak for a moment. Regaining his composure a bit, he continued, “It’s just not the same. That isn’t what we fought for.”
Dekel was able to switch gears and said, “Oh well, I shouldn’t be worried about it, I guess…well, I worry about it. Yes, I worry about it.” He smiles and tells the reporter, “You just remember everything’s beautiful, and live every day to the fullest. Just enjoy everything you possibly can.”