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Hero of the Month: 90-year-old Highlands Ranch veteran who won’t slow down

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HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. -- He could have retired a quarter-century ago, but a veteran in Highlands Ranch just won't slow down. He inspires his coworkers, his customers -- and he inspired us. So, we named him the FOX31 Problem Solvers Serving Those Who Serve Hero of the Month for January 2019.

If you visit the Ace Hardware store near Highlands Ranch Parkway and University Boulevard, go to the paint counter. Right there, you'll meet the most dedicated employee in the building: Ronald Menk.

"He's 90 years old, still comes to work every day," said coworker Mandi Skinner.

Maybe it's because of the strong work ethic Menk honed while training during the Korean War as a U.S. Army "ground pounder" that has stuck with him all these years. After all, he still sports his army dog tags around his neck. Whatever it is that keeps Menk going, he inspires everyone around him.

"It's great to have people who are elderly working with you and with kids, because a lot of kids don't have an opportunity to be with older people these days, and I think it's a great way for them to learn respect," said coworker Allison Zieger.

Menk is so beloved at ACE that last month, when he turned 90 years old, he arrived to balloons and a big surprise. The party was complete with a camouflage army cake and a Mickey Mouse stuffed animal. Turns out, Menk is the same age as the cartoon legend.

"We had a blast. We went all-out. We managed to keep it a secret -- including (from) his wife -- and we really surprised him," said coworker Suz Yabe. She helped orchestrate that surprise -- and another one -- by calling us and nominating Menk to be the Hero of the Month for January 2019.

Along with the award, he gets a $250 Visa gift card from our Serving Those Who Serve sponsor, US Mortgages.

"Thank you. This is a surprise. I can't believe it," Menk said.

What we couldn't believe? Seventy years later, his old Army uniform still fits. It's just another impressive feat from a truly impressive veteran.

To nominate a veteran, active duty service member, volunteer or military family member for our Hero of the Month honors, click here.

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