Bill Robinson says every day he wakes up feels like Christmas.
Mr. Robinson is a free man and that is something he couldn't say for eight Christmases in a row.
In our ongoing series about East Tennessee veterans we sit down with the longest held enlisted prisoner of war in American history. In addition to our interview on camera he also took time to answer the following ten questions.
1. What one person influenced you most in life?
Grandfather. He was an inspiration. He lived through the depression and didn't let things get to him. He managed to start over at 60 years old.
2. Do you feel honored and respected for serving your country?
3. How can people thank you for your service?
Get out and vote!
4. How do you honor your fellow service men and women?
I attend functions honoring them and take part in any activities I can.
I speak at the Non-commissioned Officer Academy and other leadership schools within the military encouraging those troops they a serving something bigger than themselves.
5. How do you think this generation of service men and women is different or similar to yours?
The current troops didn't have the obligation of the draft hanging over their head.
And military service should be voluntary.
6. What influence did your military service have on the rest of your life?
Taking nothing for granted. There may not be a tomorrow.
7. Does your family have a history of military service?
Yes. All my relatives have served at one time or another.
8. Would you encourage younger generations in your family to join the service?
I'm trying right now to encourage my granddaughter to join the military..
9. How has your opinion of war changed?
It hasn't changed. It is a necessary evil. It believe it is basically the result of politicians inability to communicate.
10. How did your military experience shape your faith?
My service played a strong part in my faith. I try to lead my life serving both my faith and my country.