VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Paul Wilson is now 95 years old, but as a young man, he served in World War II and the Korean War.

In 1945, Wilson had just turned 18 years old and was still in high school when he was drafted.

“The war was over. I thought maybe I wouldn’t be drafted,” he said.  “I had not finished high school and I was going to my high school in Washington D.C. I thought maybe I would have a chance to finish high school, but when I was drafted, I had to go.”

Wilson was assigned to the Navy and worked in ammunition at Port Chicago. He finished his duties in 1946 and went back to school to finish high school until he got drafted yet again.

Wilson was then sent overseas to fight in the Korean War.

“They said you are a good soldier, so they put me in the Army,” he said.

He fought on the front lines, where he not only had to worry about the enemy but also being the only black person in his company.

He helped put landmines into the ground and, unlike his counterparts, he said he was always put in dangerous situations.

“When those things little rounds went into the thing, and it goes off. They would call me to get it out and put it in the bucket,” Wilson said. “It was job. They said I was indispensable and they would get another. I was the only Black in that company at the time.” 

One day, Wilson said he was a mile away from the frontline in a blocking position when he was hit by a bullet. Wilson was shot in the arm and had an injury to his head.

He was initially sent to Japan to recover and ended up finishing his recovery in Fort Belford. Although Wilson was done fighting on the battlefield, he entered a different fight.

“I was disabled my arm was. I applied for disability. They rejected me,” Wilson said.

He kept pushing and later received 30 percent disability. At the time, it only amounted to around $135 a month.

He asked 10 to 15 times to have his disability increased but the answer was always no. However, 68 years later one doctor finally listened.

“To my surprise, they increased my disability from 30 percent to 65 percent. I was 93-year-old then,” Wilson said.

Wilson turned 96 next month and he says he feels good. Despite having arthritis in his hands, he says he is trying to get back into his favorite hobby: golf.