LAKEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) — Believe it or not, it still fits. For 80 years, Leo Lewis’ World War II Army Air Corps uniform has stood the test of time. And so has he.

“This thing was really great,” Lewis told FOX31, trying on his old master sergeant uniform. “I like this thing. It’s really well made,” he said.

Apparently, so is Lewis.

“I’ve lasted for 102 years. And it’s kind of amazing,” he said.

If Lewis hadn’t lived his own life story, he might not believe it. A Nebraska farm kid, his mother was killed in a house fire when he was just 12. Sent to live in foster care, he managed to thrive. A natural athlete, he was recruited to play football for the storied Nebraska Cornhuskers and even made an appearance in the 1941 Rose Bowl.

“Running back. And defensive back. 1940 and 41,” Lewis said.

Pearl Harbor changes everything

But the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 brought college to a halt. With the U.S. thrust into World War II, Lewis signed up to serve with the Army Air Corps, the predecessor of the U.S. Air Force. Before he knew it, he was traveling to places he had never even heard of.

“Belém, Brazil. Accra. West Africa. Khartoum. Cairo,” Lewis said.

From nearly the beginning of the war, right up until the war’s end, he was overseas serving his country. When he came back home, he finished school at the University of Colorado. Then he went on to become a successful businessman and home builder. And more than anything, he became an inspiration to his big family.

“He’s just a good-hearted person,” his wife, Joyce Lewis, told FOX31.

“You couldn’t ask for a better grandpa. And I think all of us kids would say that,” Dawnette Diltz, his granddaughter, said.

For the family, having Lewis around for 102 years has been a gift, and they spend every day thankful for their time with the man they call “Pop.”

FOX31 Hero of the Month

We call him a hero. That’s why we’re naming him one of the FOX31 Serving Those Who Serve Heroes of the Month, for all he did for our country 80 years ago.

With the award comes a plaque and a $500 Visa gift card from our Serving Those Who Serve sponsors, Plumbline ServicesFord and the Leo Hill Charitable Trust.

To nominate a veteran, active-duty service member, military family member or volunteer for our Hero of the Month honors, visit the nomination page.