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Oldest living WWII nurse celebrates her 108th birthday in Central Georgia

"Pearl earrings and pearl necklaces, and that fits her personality. If you think about Monteleon you definitely think of a jewel"

DUBLIN, Ga. — The oldest living WWII nurse celebrated her 108th birthday right here in Central Georgia. 

The Carl Vinson Medical Center threw Meta Monteleon a birthday celebration to recognize her for her service.

For nurses Tina Montford and Nicole Dent, Monteleon has plenty of nuggets of wisdom to share.

"She's just a joy to take care of. She brightens my day every time I see her," Dent said. 

She was wearing a birthday crown that sparkled, and pearls she wears everyday.

"Pearl earrings and pearl necklaces, and that fits her personality. If you think about Monteleon you definitely think of a jewel," Montford said. 

Her jewelry preferences, fitting, because the pearl is a symbol for wisdom.

"She has a very welcoming and warm spirit. She's genuine everything about her is just lovely," Montford said. 

Monteleon served a total of 3 years in the army, with 2 of those years in Pearl Harbor taking care of German prisoners of war.

"She's always been a life long learner and insatiably curious," Duke said. 

Monteleon's daughter Martha Duke enjoys seeing the recognition her mother has gotten these last 10 years of her life once she arrived at the Dublin VA.    

"She tries things and does things that other people don't necessarily do at that age, and other people like knowing that," Duke said. 

At 98, Meta gave a speech at the VA's memorial day service.

"I am telling you when she gave that speech she brought the house down," Duke said. 

At 99, she did chair yoga, making CBS news.

"Everybody was so fascinated by the fact that a 99 year old was doing chair yoga," Duke said. 

Her secret for a happy life, and longevity?

"Learn to labor and to wait and those words that have followed me throughout my whole entire time here at the VA, and those are certainly words to live by. Learn to labor and to wait," Monteleon said. 

Meta's daughter says among the many things she learned from her mother is resilience, and keeping a good sense of humor.


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