“He probably has a cute hobby, like building birdhouses,” said Clark.
Noting his “kind eyes” and the “joy” with which he seemed to take in his surroundings, local woman Anna Clark declared that the World War II veteran she passed on her run last Friday was “just so cute.”
Clark explained that she was jogging with a friend when she saw veteran Walter Briedan, 93, sitting on a nearby bench. Briedan, who is known by friends and family as a man who survived childhood homelessness during the Great Depression and became a decorated WWII fighter pilot, is now known to Clark as simply “the sweetest little old man [she’s] ever seen.”
“[Clark] pointed him out to me when we were passing through the park. He had this big crooked nose and tufts of white hair, kind of like the old guy from Up,” said running companion Sarah Shepard of the man who once watched his best friend get shot down during an enemy attack. “It was so precious. I love old people.”
Shepard and Clark reportedly considered pausing their run to say hi to Briedan and ask how he was doing, but ultimately decided that they did not want to “creep out” the man who once pulled an injured soldier fifty feet to safety under heavy gunfire.
“We really wanted to sneak a picture of him to show our housemates,” said Clark of Briedan, who had, at their age, facilitated the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp. “He was wearing this checkered flannel with a freaking pocket-protector in the pocket. With real pens in it! I saw him use one! The cutest,” added Clark.
When approached for comment, Briedan said he was unaware of the interaction between the two women, as he was reviewing his notes for his acceptance speech for the Veteran’s Society of America Lifetime Achievement Award.