World War II Veteran Receives Special Birthday Surprise

World War II Veteran Receives Special Birthday Surprise

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - Thanks to the Meridian Township Fire and Police Departments, a World War II Veteran received a special birthday surprise this past Sunday. Richard Stuart turned 104 years old and was surprised with a birthday parade celebration. Many police, fire, emergency services, and other vehicles lined up to pay tribute to the Veteran.

Richard Stuart was originally born and raised in Massachusetts. He attended Washington-Lee University in Lexington, Virginia and returned home upon graduation. He then taught English at Turners Falls High School and was serving as principal of Montague School in Massachusetts when the United States entered WWII. Stuart enlisted in the army and was assigned to the newly formed Office of Strategic Services (OSS). After the war he remained in Asia with the OSS until 1947. He accepted a position in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the Department of State when he returned to the United States. He remained in the Department of State until his retirement in 1974.

The OSS influenced both military and intelligence operations of the United States during and following WWII. The OSS was the precursor to the United States Army Special Forces and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Stuart spent his retirement in North Carolina, Virginia, and Michigan. He enjoys gardening, woodworking, and volunteering for the American Cancer Society. He was married to his college sweetheart for 63 years. Together they raised three children. Stuart also has four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Stuart’s daughter had this to say about the parade, “Thank you for that spectacular parade and show of support for my Dad yesterday--it was way more than I could possibly have imagined! My Dad was surprised and very honored and truly pleased with the whole thing. It was a wonderful celebration. I want to extend not only my personal appreciation for your effort to bring this about but also the gratitude of the rest of my family who were not able to be here for his birthday. Please thank all who generously participated. It was a pleasure to meet you.
Thank you, Thank you!”

A video of the parade can be found on the Facebook page of the Meridian Township Police Department.

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