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Wisconsin Army Veteran celebrates her 100th birthday

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iris spencer

JANESVILLE (WKOW) -- Iris Spencer has lived an extraordinary life.

On Monday, she turned 100 years old while surrounded by friends and family at Our House Assisted Living in Janesville.

Spencer grew up during the depression. Right out of high school, she joined Women's Army Corps at Fort Riley. During World War II, she was immediately assigned Assistant Sergeant major and later fulfilled the role of Sergeant Major. She became one of the first women in the country to reach that accomplishment.

Spencer served her country for years, but her family says she always served them first. Spencer met her husband Selden in the Army. Together, they had six children. Spencer's eldest daughter traveled from Colorado to celebrate her birthday. Nyla McKeon tells 27 News her mother's journey inspired her own career.

"I'm pretty proud of her because she made me want to join the service and I joined the Air Force. So that had an impact on me," McKeon said.

McKeon says growing up, Iris was a loving mother. In addition to being dedicated to her country, she has always been dedicated to her church.

"She was very much in the church all day," McKeon continued. "We always did things as a family. We had family reunions, and she made Christmas very special every year."

"She was always there for us. When we got home from school, she was there. When we left, she was there," McKeon said.

Emily Friese

27 News Producer

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