Family, community celebrate Midlands veteran on his 99th birthday

Midlands veteran turns 99!

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A Marine Corps veteran of World War II and Korea turns 99-years-old, but he has a pretty unique outlook on aging after reaching this incredible milestone.

"I'm 18 now. 18 twice now. 9 and 9 is 18, right?”

Deacon James Knotts was born in Norway, South Carolina in 1919. He was drafted to the Marines at the age of 24 and was honored for his services at the Capital Building in Washington, D.C in 1992.

He is the oldest, surviving member of his Company and was presented with a Bronze Medal of Honor during his time in D.C.

His daughter, Carrie Knotts Jackson, said he's been serving this country for decades in more ways than one.

"One of the things he was very instrumental in doing is helping with voter registration. He believes that every man has a right to vote and he even would transport them back-and-forth to make sure that they were able to get there. He said, one of the things that were very important to him was when he was able to vote for the former president, Barack Obama because he had said he never thought he would see that in his lifetime."

Family and friends also credit Knotts with fighting for the first school bus for black children in the Richard Street community of Columbia.

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