Senior Active: Paul Grassey - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Senior Active: Paul Grassey

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Paul Grassey's life revolves around stories.

They are stories the World War II bomber pilot participated in. But he doesn't talk about himself.

"Franklin Roosevelt said, ‘some generations get everything, some generations expect a lot, this generation has a rendezvous with history,'" Grassey said of the men and women who served in WWII. "We didn't start out to be heroes or anything like that. We just knew that there was a war going on and we had do something.''

Grassey tells stories to preserve the history he witnessed, but also to feel like he is still working on his own history.

"This might sound corny, but I believe that the Lord kept me around long enough so that I could let everybody, young people, old people, hear about this stuff,'' said Grassey, one of only two WWI veterans still leading tours at the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force. "I get a thrill to get up in the morning to come here and take people around and I've been doing it for 18 years. I probably have met tens of thousands of people from all over the world and I wouldn't have been able to do that. And I find that it's great.''

Two months shy of his 90th birthday, Grassey is as active as ever.

He is a board member at the Mighty Eighth Museum and commonly leads two-hour tours there. He also has become a frequent lecturer across Georgia and South Carolina.

"I give talks at Kiwanis clubs,'' he said, "rotaries, the Exchange Club and also churches and of course the students.''

He just recently quit playing golf to finish a book, "It's "Character That Counts,'' in which he uses friends he grew up with, former classmates and fellow veterans, to represent six pillars of character.

"It gave me the opportunity to let people know what my pals did in WWI,'' said Grassey. "And also I like to let people know what our troops are doing now.''

Grassey stopped working in sales and marketing just last week. But he probably won't be out of work long.

"One of my missions with the book is to let older people know to stay busy,'' said Grassey. "You've got to keep your mind going, you've got to keep your legs going. I go to a fitness center every morning. I get ridiculed, but do my thing, I say ‘where are the 300 pound weight?'''

Actually, he'll save his heavy lifting for the Mighty Eighth Museum and those stories that carry history into the future.

"My job,'' says Grassey, "is to let people know about these heroes and never forget them, because they did this for our freedom.''

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