DALLAS — John "Lucky" Luckadoo has always balked at the idea that he is an American hero, even though he survived one of the most dangerous bombing campaigns of WWII.
He is a bit closer, however, to getting millions of his fellow Americans recognized as the heroes he has always believed them to be.
The last time we talked with Luckadoo, at Presbyterian Village North where he lives, was on his 100th birthday two months ago. We returned on Monday, where a crowd ushered into the same auditorium to surprise him for reaching one more big milestone.
He is the last surviving member of the Bloody 100th: a name unfortunately earned because so few survived dangerous daytime bombing runs over Germany. Luckadoo defied the odds and returned after more than his fair share of missions, once with his boots frozen to the controls of his B-17.
But on Monday, true to humble form, he gave the same heartfelt speech he's done so many times before.
"I shudder to think that you're trying to paint me as a hero. Because I ain't no hero," he said. "The real heroes are those who did not come home. And the real heroes are also those who stayed home and outproduced the world."
Which is why for years now he's pushed for a national 'Home Front Heroes Day': a Veterans Day of sorts to recognize 'Rosie the Riveter' and other Americans who helped support the war effort from home.
And today Congressman Colin Allred showed up, a bi-partisan resolution in hand, expressing support for designating May 9th as 'Home Front Heroes Day' on a national level. Allred introduced the resolution along with Rep. Jake Ellzey, a Republican from Texas' 6th district.
Allred also praised Luckadoo for his recent biography in print called "Damn Lucky." And for the fact that Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks are working on a Bloody 100th documentary.
"You know, that's something," Allred said in his remarks to Luckadoo and the crowd assembled in the auditorium. "But creating a national holiday, that's also something. What a life! What an incredible life of service you've led Major!"
"I am proud to join my colleague Rep. Allred in submitting H.R. 1088 to designate May 9th as 'Home Front Heroes Day,'" said Ellzey in a written statement. "The brave men and women that serve in our nation's military would be unable to do their jobs without the love and support of those back at home. Our country is strong because of the sacrifices of our citizens. It is only fitting that we take a day to honor those sacrifices."
The resolution now goes to the U.S. House for consideration.
"With congressional support, why, of course we can achieve our goal," Luckadoo told WFAA.
Because, 100 or not, Lucky isn't done fighting for his country just yet.