DENISON, Texas (KTEN) — The U.S. Marine Corps was established 248 years ago, and on Saturday, a birthday ball was held in Denison to celebrate that achievement.

As part of the ceremony, a cake was cut, and Jim Retz, the oldest retired Marine in the room, presented a slice to the youngest, Michaela Walker... symbolizing the passage of much more than dessert.

"Encourage young people to make a commitment to our country and to the world by seriously considering some military service," said retired Rear Admiral William A. Retz.

Haun saw action in multiple conflicts.

"I'm 94 years old, be 95 next," he said. "I've been in end of World War II, Korea and Vietnam, and China."

He said survival is something he learned from his time in the military.

"Was in North Korea; the temperature was 90 degrees below zero... that is hard to believe," he recalled. "I had people working on it next to me freeze to death."

The oldest and youngest Marines joined in an anniversary ceremony in Denison on November 4, 2023.

Walker explained that she was following in the footsteps of her father and sister when she joined the Corps.

"I just didn't want any 'what-if's' in my life, and I wanted to gain some really good skills... and that's what i did," she said.

Walker wants to encourage the younger generation to enlist by finding any of the multiple reasons there are to join.

"I had a calling to serve either way, but there were plenty of people that went in for the college benefits, for the free medical," she said.

Saturday was a day of honor to every Marine in Texoma that had ever served, with one table dedicated to those who gave their lives.

Retz raised his voice to honor those "...who, when our nation calls, are there to defend her, are there to fight and win. Semper Fi, Marines."