Naaman "Jock" Hickey not only celebrated his 89th birthday on Aug. 10 -- he was also honored for his service during World War II.
Family and friends met at Bridges Senior Lifestyle Living in Waterloo for a medals presentation for Hickey, who earned the American Theatre Ribbon, the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Ribbon, the Good Conduct Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.
Hickey was drafted into the Army in 1943 at age 18. He was in the Quartermaster Bakery Company.
"I baked bread for General George Patton," said Hickey.
Hickey went all across Europe with Gen. Patton, including Luxembourg, Germany for the Battle of the Bulge. He specifically remembers Dec. 23, 1944.
"I looked up and saw all the parachutes," said Hickey.
After one round of fighting in the air, Hickey said he saw an American plane shoot down a German plane. He and other soldiers went to see if there were any survivors.
There weren't, but Hickey found and kept a German gun. It was just one piece of his story on display during his birthday celebration.
With help from his daughter, Hickey plans to share more of his story in an upcoming book, Ropes in the Kitchen.
Joshalyn Hickey-Johnson said the book is about how her father lived his life.
"Not to worry about what others say about you. Live your life the way you see fit," said Johnson-Hickey.
The book also talks about the family's history, including slaves who migrated from the South to Waterloo in 1905.
In the book, Hickey also talks about his own experiences with racial discrimination and an interracial marriage.
"Ropes in the Kitchen" is scheduled to be out in October. It will be available at the Grout Museum District's Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum.
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