GARLAND, Texas — Glen Francis says 70 years old was the turning point for him.
“After you get to be about 70, you don’t worry about nothing,” he said.
If that's the honest truth, then he's had three decades of worry-free life.
Born November 11, 1920, Francis turns 100 on Veterans Day 2020.
He joined the military in 1939 and stayed for a 41-year career - all served stateside.
He retired as an Air Force Colonel in 1981.
Francis spent much of his career in Arkansas, but has lived in Garland for about 30 years.
As his 100th birthday was approaching, the owner of Main Street Café, his favorite hometown diner, decided her loyal customer deserved something special.
“He’s a regular. He and his family come here every Saturday night at 5:00 to have dinner,” said owner Tammy Hauck-Norvell.
She put out a request on her restaurant’s Facebook page, asking for people to send Col. Francis a birthday card. She was hoping to get 100 cards.
“Like everything else in Garland, once there’s a spark, it turns into a fire,” she said.
Within days, she’d surpassed her goal.
And on the Saturday before his birthday, she hosted a drive-by parade in Francis’s honor.
“They just drove by and I waved,” he said with a laugh. “It pays to get to be 100.”
Francis calls himself “an old country boy.”
But he’s a country boy who loves his country and his independence.
He’s still driving, even at 100 years old.
“In fact, I have to get my driver’s license renewed this month,” he said.
As America faces immense struggles this year, this bit of wisdom comes from a man who’s seen 100 years:
“You’ve got to believe in God. You’ve got to believe in country. And you’ve got to believe in yourself."
"Just live life as it comes to you, but live it to its fullest. And don’t back away from any problem."