PALM HARBOR, Fla. — This month a World War II veteran out of Palm Harbor will be celebrating his 100th birthday. As a present, his life’s story will be highlighted and remembered forever at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.
Looking at old photos and military mementos with his wife and daughter, Joe Greco has been doing a lot of reflecting leading up to a milestone birthday.
“I’m going to be 100, 100,000 miles,” said Greco.
Greco grew up in Rhode Island and was one of seven brothers to serve in World War II.
“They started going in one at a time, and I was getting mad because I wasn’t going in, I was too young to get in,” said Greco.
His grandson even made a shirt with the photos of all his brothers in uniform along with their mom.
This month, in recognition of his birthday and his service, Greco was selected by Suncoast Hospice to be part of the Veterans History Project.
“Our team in the field, our nurses, our social workers, do an excellent job of communicating back to us, ‘hey we have a veteran, World War II veteran, Vietnam, Korean, has a great story', so they came out and videoed Joe,” said Trudy Beeler with Suncoast Hospice.
Suncoast Hospice will make two copies, one goes to Greco’s family and the other to the Library of Congress.
“The fact that our greatest generation, we have so few of them left, it’s a great honor to be serving the veterans in our community and to be able to capture their stories and share that with future generations,” said Beeler.
Greco said he’s so proud his little slice of history will live on forever in such a prestigious place.
“I was in the military police and my job was to take control of the convoy of prisoners,” said Grecco. “I would tell them the whole story as much as I can remember.”
Fittingly Greco’s story is the 100th to be recorded by Suncoast Hospice for the Veterans History Project, which is a nationwide effort.
Greco officially turns 100 on July 20. His family said they have a special surprise in store.