“Don’t worry about those things you can’t change,” Greene Co. native, WWII veteran shares advice during 100th birthday celebration

XENIA — Living to be 100 is not a small feat. During his birthday celebration, Jim “Pee Wee” Martin shared his advice to living a long, happy life.

“Be honest with everything you do,” Martin, a Greene County native who jumped from planes as a paratrooper in World War II, including on D-Day, said.

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Martin also advised people to not let stress get to them.

“Enjoy what you have. Don’t worry about those things you can’t change,” Martin said.

Martin was present for the massive celebration thrown in his honor in Xenia that drew out many people, even Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.

As for how it feels to be 100, Martin said other than not being able to do some construction work around his home he feels great.

“I don’t feel any different today than I did when I was 30,” Martin said.

Martin said the celebration was “quite wonderful” and noted that it was events like this that shed light on parts of history that some may have forgotten.

“The biggest thing is the history behind this is starting to die out and these kinds of things bring it back,” Martin said.

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As a member of the 101st Airborne Division and the “Screaming Eagle” division, Martin was one of the first Allied soldiers to infiltrate Nazi-occupied France. In addition to the invasion of Normandy, Martin also parachuted in Operation Market Garden in the Netherlands and the Battle of the Bulge.

To celebrate a century full of life, Xenia planned a group of paratroopers to jump from restored WWII planes, fireworks, and a reunion of the remaining surviving members of the Screaming Eagles.

“A lot of people worked awfully hard to get [the party] here too and I appreciate that,” Martin said.

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