Community celebrates local veteran on 100th birthday

WARSAW, Ind.—It’s a birthday party that not many get to celebrate. One local veteran rang in his 100th year of life with the help of the Warsaw community.

“I did not expect it, I probably don’t deserve it, turning 100 I had not thought too much about it, you think about it in terms of I shouldn’t buy a new car I won’t last that long,” United States Army Veteran Captain Bob Gast said.

It was the birthday party of the century!

“Everybody has been so wonderful, family, friends, and everything that I am really astounded by all of this I do not know how to react,” Gast said.

On Monday, March 28, Bob Gast turned 100 years old. The World War II hero is decorated with a silver star and purple heart. But one of the nation’s heroes has a connection to the Warsaw community, too. Gast graduated from Warsaw High School in 1940, and he stuck to his roots. After his time in the war, he returned back home to Northern Indiana.

“Being able to showcase that to our students, staff and local community on what it means to be a hometown hero, Warsaw Community Schools Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert said.

Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert meets with veterans in the community once a month. After getting to know Gast, and hearing his stories during his time overseas, he knew he wanted to recognize this special day. Introducing, “Bob Gast Day.”

“I would like a special surprise that I would like to give somebody I would like to create Bob Gast day in Warsaw Community Schools, and I went through the criteria and they looked at me and said 100 years old, World war 2 hero, that is a pretty high bar, that is a pretty high bar we can have this day,” Dr. David Hoffert said

The birthday party included the Junior ROTC, who read the proclamation for “Bob Gast Day,” and even a special uniform inspection, too. However, the entire community was involved with over 350 birthday cards written for Gast’s big day. And of course, a visit from the elementary school kids.

“The first thing I said was he was a graduate of Warsaw in 1940 1940! And their eyes lit up and said have you met somebody who is 100 years old, a century year old and their eyes got big and they looked at each other because they were not sure what to say,” Dr. David Hoffert said.

Gast’s accomplishments through his years are remarkable. How did he make it 100 you may ask?

“I never went on any special diets,” Gast said.

No secret shake involved! Actually, for Gast, he credits his late wife, Marg.

“I do not know because I could ask the same question why I do not know I have no done anything that I know of! I had a tremendous wife, Marg you just could not find a more beautiful person both the way she looked and way she was and I think probably she just died ten years ago and I learned aa lot of things from her,” Gast said.

Gast recalls the first day he met her; he knew in that moment he would marry her.

“I was at the local restaurant one day and Marg came in and I did not know who she was and she came in and swing our legs over the counter and got a cup of coffee and I thought boys she is a good-looking girl” “If anybody gets to heaven, I am sure Marg made it” “She loved people,” Gast.

Marg and Bob raised 7 children. Now, Bob not only has grandchildren, or great grandchildren, but great-great grandchildren.

“Great Great. They call me G-G-B,” Gast said.

For G-G-B, he has seen it all. He says the key to life, is stop worrying so much.

“I do not know I think, don’t sit around and worry too much I think worry and stress are the things that people have to kill them younger,” Gast said.

Bob still drives to church or the grocery, and even walks his dog Bobby.

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