1:41 PM EST, December 7, 2012
His stories can fill volumes of books. His experiences are only heard of in history class.
Waking up this morning, on December 7th, brought a rush of thoughts Herbert Gibbs has kept stored inside for decades.
"It's been a long time. I think, it brought up a lot of old memories," Gibbs said.
Little did he know what he witnessed 71 years ago at Pearl Harbor would make him a living history lesson today.
"I couldn't cipher the Japanese bombing our ships. They kept on up the river and come right by our ship. They weren't after it no way," Gibbs said.
Gibbs was on a supply ship on his way to the Philippines about to make a stop on a beach when he heard two phrases he'll never forget.
"All the sudden we heard, 'man your battle stations,' and 'this is no drill,'" Gibbs said. "When they came in we fired on them. We knocked one out of formation. They come in threes."
As the saying goes, the rest is history.
"Pearl Harbor is just part of the story you say you were also in Vietnam and the Korean War. You say you were also in the Navy for about 21 years. And in addition to all that, today's your birthday," said WDBJ7 Reporter Justin Ward.
"Today is my birthday," Gibbs said proudly.
"Not many people can say they were at Pearl Harbor when it happened and it's their birthday," Ward said.
"No. That's right. There's not many can," Gibbs said.
Nowadays, Gibbs takes his time.
"I get confused sometimes. I'm in the 90's," Gibbs said.
Instead of picking his weapon, he chooses a cane and picks out a hat.
"My friends have been calling me today to take me out," Gibbs said.
On his 94th birthday, that's something to look forward to for a man full of stories that will never age.
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