OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
U.S. Marine Carl Spurlin Dekel celebrated turning 100 years old on June 29 with a dire warning.
In a video that has gone viral on social media, Dekel mourned the decline of America, tearfully lamenting, “Our country’s going to hell!”
“People don’t realize what they have,” Dekel said. “They bitch about it. And, then, nowadays, I am so upset that the things we did, things we fought for, and the boys that died for it, it’s all going down the drain.”
“Our country’s going to hell – in a handbasket!” he cried. “We haven’t got the country we had when I was raised – not at all! Nobody’ll have the fun I had, nobody will have the opportunity I had – it’s just not the same!”
“That’s not what our boys – that’s not what they died for,” he continued. “It’s just not the same. That isn’t what we fought for.”
“Heart-wrenching,” Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake tweeted while sharing the video of Dekel’s interview, commenting, “100-year-old veteran breaks down, cries for America.”
Heart-wrenching: 100 year old veteran breaks down, cries for America
“The things we did, the things we fought for and the boys that died for it, it’s all gone down the drain. Our Country’s gone to hell” pic.twitter.com/0TGrxVBq2N
— Kari Lake for AZ Governor (@KariLake) July 2, 2022
Dekel said serving his country during World War II was the most significant thing he has done in his life.
He said he entered the Marines in September 1940.
“Shipped me straight out to Guantanamo,” he explained, “and put me in a machine gun company.”
“And if I had to do it again, and I was the same age, I would do it, I guarantee it,” Dekel continued.
“We was scared all the time. I don’t care what anybody says. We were vulnerable all the time since Pearl Harbor particularly. Pearl Harbor was hit before we hit Guadalcanal. And we had no Navy support – none whatsoever. Our supply ships left about 4:00 in the afternoon. We started landing on Guadalcanal before the sun comes up, and, at 4:00, all our ships are pulling out,” he added.
Dekel said the ships left after word had come the Japanese fleet would be coming in that night.
“The Lord brought me home,” the veteran said. “And the Lord has just blessed me so, and here I sit at 100 – they tell me I’m 100 – I don’t believe it sometimes because I don’t need to worry about age – I’m not going to!”
“I’ll just keep on keeping on!” Dekel said.
Speaking to the Plant City Courier & Tribune in 2009, Dekle highlighted the sacrifices he and many of his Marine Corps friends had made for Americans to enjoy their freedom.
“I want the young kids to realize that freedom comes with a heavy price. It isn’t given to people out of the goodness of others,” he told the outlet at the time. “It’s something you have to fight and sometimes die for.”
“I can remember where I was on the Fourth each year during the war,” Dekle said. “But it had nothing to do with celebrating our national independence.”
In July 1941, Dekel was training in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
“We didn’t know which beach we were going to assault once the war broke out. We just knew we weren’t practicing just for the fun of it,” he said.
A year later, Dekle and the First Marine Division were defending an air base on the island of Upolu on British Samoa.
“On July 4, 1942, I was in the hills of Upolu taking heavy weapons fire from Japanese heavy cruisers and dive bombers,” Dekle said. “Our guys were dug in pretty good. But we got bombed and shelled every day. We saw dogfights above the bay that would go on for hours. Guys in our unit would fire at the Jap Zeroes when they got
close to our position, but we never shot one down. Our fighter pilots did a good job of that.”