Emma "Big Mama" Didlake.
As a member of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, Emma Didlake served stateside as a private and a driver. Keep in mind that Didlake was a woman. A black woman. In 1943. Still, she persevered, eventually earning numerous medals for her service, and joined the NAACP after the war. She even marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr. in Detroit.
Rachel Larue/U.S. Army
And 50 years later, still knew a hundred different ways to break your neck.
Emma Didlake reached the ripe old age of 110 years old and was a youthful and energetic presence in her community. Her secret to longevity? A diet that stayed away from too much meat. Oh, and also soaking nine golden raisins in a pint of gin every evening and then eating them the next day. Hey, we soak our food in alcohol, too! Only a month before she passed, she had received a call to meet President Obama at the White House. Having reached the distinction of being the oldest United States veteran, she accepted the honor with grace, dignity, and with an angel's hair wisp of boozy dried fruit on her breath.
"I don't know why you have the mics on me. She's saying way cooler shit."