At age 100, Willie Rogers is living history. He’s seen more than most can imagine.
Rogers is one of the last surviving members of the famed Tuskegee Airmen.
Wednesday, the Veteran’s Art Center of Tampa Bay honored the World War II veteran with a portrait commemorating his service and his sacrifice.
“I’m very proud mostly for my children and grandchildren,” said Rogers. “They will know some of the things that their daddy and granddaddy did in the past.”
Rogers was born March 4, 1915 and was drafted into the Army in 1942, eventually earning the rank of Master Sergeant of the 100th Air Engineer Squad, before leaving the military and settling down in St. Petersburg in 1949.
Artist Greg Crumbly said it was a challenge capturing all that history in one painting.
“I wanted his face and his memories to be front and center,” he said.
Rogers said his key to longevity is, “See nothing, hear nothing and say nothing unless you’re involved in it.”