DIRIGO STORIES: WWII veteran continues to serve at 95
PORTLAND (WGME) -- We're all looking for ways to stay young, and one man in Portland says he's found it.
Jim Mardin, 95, says his secret to success is service.
"I never had a job I didn't like," Mardin said.
Most days you can find Mardin greeting patients at Maine Health's Learning Resource Center in Falmouth.
"He never sits," said Program Diretor Lynn Connolly. "We got him a desk and a chair, but he won't use it!"
"I don't take any medicine. No prescriptions," said Mardin, who turned 95 in January. "This is really fun. If I was home, what would I be doing?"
He's clocked more than 10,700 volunteer hours with Maine Health since 1988, but Mardin's years of service began long before then.
"Jim Mardin is a credit to the state of Maine, and a credit to his country," said Lee Hummiston, curator of the Maine Military Museum and Learning Center.
Mardin joined the Maine National Guard right after graduating from Deering High School in 1940. He was stationed at Fort Williams when the United States entered World War II.
“We knew we were going overseas,” Mardin said.
In 1944, Mardin landed on the beaches of Normandy six days after D-Day.
"The destruction you see around you – you’re moving so fast they can't move the bodies," said Mardin. "You'll always remember that."
Shortly after he was discharged from the Army in 1946, Mardin volunteered again for the Maine National Guard in 1947. While he built his 30-year career at Merrill Transport, he volunteered for the Maine State Police Reserve Program.
Then came volunteering at Maine Health, and eventually at Sedgewood Nursing Home after the death of his wife from Alzheimer's Disease in 2011. He would play card games with Alzheimer's patients.
"Sometimes, they'd win!" Mardin said.
In addition to his volunteer work with Maine Health, he now volunteers at the Maine Military Museum in South Portland.
"Mondays and Thursdays I have open. That's it," Mardin said.
"I can't explain him," said Hummiston. "There's no way to explain Jim Mardin. He's just one of the greatest men I've ever known."
Few men can claim as many accomplishments as Mardin, and he shows no signs of slowing down.
"I plan to be here until at least 101," Mardin said. "It's a promise. I'm not going yet."