Joe Harris, a beloved veteran and esteemed member of the Compton community, joyfully commemorated his incredible 107th birthday with an unforgettable neighborhood block party. Surrounded by his adoring family, cherished friends, and the delightful aroma of freshly baked cake and sparkling champagne, the atmosphere was filled with pure jubilation. This heartfelt celebration held profound significance for Harris and his loved ones, as it marked a long-awaited reunion after four years of separation caused by the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Reflecting on the day’s festivities, Harris’s daughter, Tanya Pittman, expressed the overwhelming happiness experienced by all in attendance.

Joe Harris’s exceptional achievements extend far beyond his remarkable longevity, for he is also revered for his extraordinary military service. As a distinguished member of the Buffalo Soldiers, an esteemed all-black regiment in the United States Army, Harris’s dedication and courage were truly commendable. Furthermore, he proudly joined the ranks of the Triple Nickels, the pioneering African American paratrooper unit. This distinction was bestowed upon him as part of a special assignment authorized by none other than President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the harrowing times of World War II. Tasked with the perilous mission of extinguishing fires ignited by the Japanese along the treacherous Oregon coast, Harris and his fellow paratroopers displayed unparalleled bravery. Plunging from airplanes directly into the midst of raging infernos, Harris fearlessly completed an astounding 72 successful jumps, cementing his legacy as a true hero.

Following the war, Harris chose Compton as his cherished home, and for over six decades, he has been an unwavering pillar of the community. Among his neighbors and friends, Harris’s military discipline has left an indelible positive impact, instilling a sense of respect and admiration. His influence extends well beyond the confines of his immediate vicinity, as he has embraced the role of a surrogate father figure to many. Ever committed to service, Harris has become a steadfast guardian of the neighborhood, diligently looking out for and protecting those around him.

The celebration of Joe Harris’s 107th birthday served as a testament to the collective love and respect he has garnered throughout his remarkable life. It was not merely an acknowledgment of his advancing age but a grand recognition of a life brimming with selfless service, unwavering courage, and unparalleled community involvement. The exuberance and merriment that permeated his neighborhood during this momentous occasion stand as a powerful testament to the enduring impact that one extraordinary individual can leave through a lifetime dedicated to service and unwavering dedication.