Andersen takes a centurion birthday ride

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Genii Andersen gets a feel for the U.S. Coast Guard motorized life boat Thursday as USCG Station Kauai Commander Michael Winiarski, right, stands by to cast off.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Genii Anderson, celebrating her 100th birthday Dec. 28, is escorted by Mary Kay Hertog, Coast Guard Auxiliarist Annie Leighton, and Lynn Aylward-Bingman, who celebrated her birthday Thursday as they make their way to the U.S. Coast Guard motorized life boat at Nawiliwili.

NAWILIWILI — Genii Andersen will celebrate her 100th birthday Dec. 28.

She is the oldest living female veteran on Kauai, and the oldest SPAR, or member of the U.S. Coast Guard World War II Women’s Reserve, said Mary Kay Hertog, a retired U.S. Air Force general.

“She’s a week younger than I,” said Lynn Alward-Bingman, U.S. Navy retired. “Her birthday is a week from today. Mine is today.”

Hertog and Alward-Bingman were on hand to escort Andersen, who was offered a ride aboard the USCG motorized life boat Thursday by the crew at USCG Station Kauai.

The crew was on hand to help celebrate Andersen’s birthday during the annual Kauai Veterans Council Christmas party held recently, and presented her with gifts. They added the ride on the modern boat after learning that she served with the Coast Guard.

“It would be nice to find out how many SPARs are here on the island,” said Michael Winiarski, the commander of USCG Station Kauai. “Genii has to be the oldest SPAR living here.”

Andersen was helped onto the boat by Winiarski and her escorts.

“I’m not touching anything,” she said while being briefed on how the boat operates. “I don’t even have a computer at home.”

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