US Marine veteran Carl Spurlin Dekel who served in WWII celebrated his 100th birthday this week.

“People don’t realize what they have,” Dekel shared with Fox13. “The things we did and the things we fought for and the boys that died for it, it’s all gone down the drain.”

Dekel joined the USMC in 1940 and quickly deployed to Guantanamo’s Naval base where he joined a machine gun company. During his career, Dekel earned a Silver Star, his “pride and joy,” and believes that his service was the most important accomplishment of his life. Even still, Dekel mourns the loss of the nation he once knew that, to him, is quickly slipping away.