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100-year-old World War II veteran celebrated in Conway by active members

Alice earned accolades and medals for her service, ending her time in the service with an honorable discharge.

CONWAY, Ark. — Photos of family members fill the walls of the home where Alice Beatty lives.

"Well I'm glad she's still around, I like hearing her stories," Jim Beatty, Alice's son, said.

Those pictures tell the history of family, past and present, and of Alice herself.

But she's not a memory on the wall – she's full of life and stories, all at 100-years-old.

"Everybody's got a story, hers is pretty interesting," Jim said. "I like hearing about it."

Alice isn't just unique because she's 100-years-old – she's also a World War II veteran. Her service took her around the globe.

"And there were a lot of us, kind of worried whether we would make it or not," Alice said. "We went to Scotland."

Alice earned accolades and medals for her service, ending her time in the service with an honorable discharge.

Wednesday marked another accolade for her – one of gratitude.

"It says presented to Alice Beatty, World War II vet, living in the home of the free because of the brave," Staff Sgt. Deanna Ledesma said, presenting Alice with a plaque. "Thank you for your service."

"It's very important, me personally, I feel like that's what the backbone of this country stands on," Staff Sgt. Reginald L. Abrams, said. "It's a lot of men and women who've served throughout the years through numerous of conflicts, and they've helped us get to where we are today."

That sentiment holds a little more weight for Ledesma. Even though decades separate her and Alice's service, there's still a connection.

"The military was not the same. The army was not the same as it is now, back then," she said. "So for her and her fellow service members who served with her during World War II, they put that aside and they did and continue to push forward, to say 'we belong here, and we can do the same thing.'"

Jim also knows his mother is a trailblazer. The stories she's shared with him could fill books.

"There were obstacles she faced there," he said. "A lot of the men there did not like women taking their jobs from them, so she had to face that."

So as we observe Veterans Day, those celebrating Alice have a message to share. Take time to thank those around you who've served – like Alice – for the freedom we have.

"Whether they served 10 years ago, 20, 30, just make sure you tell them thank you," Abrams said. "You have no idea what they went through, what they've been through, and everybody who served worked in some capacity as a team to help Americans get to where we are today."

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