Arthur Erickson was born in 1927.

"I've had a wonderful life for 94 years," he said.

Many of those years are documented in a yellow folder, including his time serving the United States. 

"I think every boy 18 years old should have at least 1 year of service. I think they will grow up. It makes them grow up. It makes you grow up and be a man. It makes you understand things," he said. "Before I was 18 years old, in 1945, I enlisted in the Marines. I was sent to Kansas City to take the physical. I passed it all. They told us to come back in September and they would swear us in. Well the 15th of August, when I went home from the physical, it came over the radio that the war was over."

So he went home and waited for the draft.

"(President) Truman came out and said all the '45 draftees were to be left out," he said. "About two weeks of that they finally let us out and shipped us home."

"It (the war) got over on my birthday, (the) 15th of August 1945."

Perhaps the end of the war was a birthday present to himself. He says life has been good.

"I have no complaints about anything….  Life has been good to me." 

The folder also holds other memories as he recalled special things in his life.

"This is my wife when we got married and my little dog," he said, gazing at his photos.

"Right now, I'm keeping busy. I make beads."

Now he makes special things for the lives of others.

With repurposed paper from old church bulletins, he makes beads which form into necklaces. He gives them away. 

"That's my church bulletin. That's my church work."

"I can cut them into strips, roll them up on a toothpick and bead them together," he said.

It's an activity that keeps his mind going.

"That's what its mostly for. Because if you let your mind sit still, it's going to sit still and you aren't going to have any. That's my idea," he said. 

"I've had a good life. I cannot argue about that."

It's a life he's loved. 

"I've enjoyed every day of my life. I have nieces and nephews and I have her (Carrie) and I have her boyfriend."

The yellow folder is one he hopes to keep adding to.

"I hope I've got a few more years."

KAKE News and the Wichita Wind Surge work together to share stories of local veterans, both on-air and at Riverfront Stadium during Saturday home games.

If you know a local veteran you would like to see possibly honored for this segment, email us at [email protected] with information on how we can contact you, as well as the veteran.