Century of service: Kearney WWII veteran honored for 100th birthday

Veteran Lee Sanks was honored with an escort from the Kearney Police Department's motorcade on Friday.
Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 7:53 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - A Kearney WWII veteran was honored on Friday for both his service and 100th birthday.

Veteran Lee Sanks turns 100 on Saturday, but was honored on Friday morning with an escort from the Kearney Police Department’s motorcade. The motorcade featured several members of police department who were also veterans.

The escort went to the Peterson Senior Center, where Sanks was greeted with a standing ovation from family and friends, who were in attendance to help him celebrate.

Later in the day, Sanks was also honored with a plaque for his service during WWII.

When it comes to his longevity, Sanks credited having a positive attitude, eating a healthy diet and having his family by his side.

”Behaving yourself and eating right and not getting carried away. Also, I had tremendous, tremendous help. I had absolutely the best help in the world from my wife Delphine,” Sanks said.

His son, John Sanks, said his father consistently goes on walks - something he’s done since his younger years when he owned the Ayers clothing stores in Kearney and Lexington.

When it comes to his service in WWII, Lee says he was just simply doing his duty for our country.

”Just very ordinary and just what we were supposed to do. I didn’t do anything special, I just showed up,” Lee Sanks said.

Just as important to Lee as his military service is his family. John said the most important lesson his father taught him was just simply having respect for others and their viewpoints.

“Always be kind and respect everybody’s point of view and it’s always important to respect other people and I think that’s always been a key point in life for the family,” John Sanks said.

Lee Sanks will also be honored on Saturday during pre-game ceremonies for the Husker Football game against Louisiana Tech.