TULLAHOMA, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tullahoma resident Tommy Gwynn has lived a life made for a movie.

“Here I am 103-years-old… and a half,” Gwynn says with a huge smile.

He may be hard of hearing and partially blind, but his humor has never been better.

“My left eye talks to me and says ‘Tommy, they’re pretty,'” he says while leaning back and laughing at his own joke.

At first glance, you wouldn’t know this man with all his charm is the type of warrior historians write about – literally.

Gwynn’s service to America started when, at just 21-years-old living in Memphis, he sensed tensions in Europe would escalate. He flipped a tarnished buffalo nickel to determine his future.

“It bounced over. I went right then and volunteered,” he recalls.

That was October 1940, more than a year before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

“We don’t know about WWII,” Gywnn remembers the Army recruitment office telling him. “I do,” he responded, “We’re going to have one, and I want to learn everything that I can. And, I opened my Bible to John 15:13. ‘Greater love had no one than this, that you lay your life down for your friend.'”

When storied Army officer General Omar Bradley came calling, Gwynn answered as an Army ranger whose reputation preceded him.

“In WWII my code name was Ranger. When he wanted something done he said, ‘Let me speak to Ranger,'” Gywnn says.

General Bradley assigned Sgt. Gwynn a multitude of missions.

“Many things, you’ll never know, even now. It’s top secret,” he says.

He would share this. “When we first landed in France on D-Day, I had bullets flying all around. Some looked like they were floating in the air. I prayed to Jesus. I asked him to walk with me.”

The fighting ended, and Gwynn was back in the barracks.

“A big ‘ole sergeant came in there and said, ‘Sergeant Gwynn?, Yeah? General Bradley and General Hobbs want you out here.’ I went out there, and they saluted me. I became an officer in the United States Army. He told me, ‘You will always be the greatest Ranger that ever stepped foot on this earth.’ Boy, it made me feel good.”

Five years later, General Douglas MacArthur called. The Korean War is now underway and MacArthur needed 1st Lt. Gwynn.

“Because they knew I knew what to do,” Gywnn says.

Deployed and working in the dark he explains, “I looked at the stars at night to guide me to slip behind enemy lines. That’s how I got captured.”

A prisoner of war, taken captive in North Korea twice, Gwynn sustained more than 20 injuries. He points to the three inch scar a result of bludgeoning from the butt of a rifle, a notch in his nose cut off by a knife, and bullets still lodged in his hand.

Despite it all, the strong soldier broke free both times.

“You see,” he explains, “I get wounded; I don’t stop; I keep going.”

And, he’s been going ever since. The proof is in his 40 military medals, which include multiple Silver and Bronze Stars with Valor, seven Purple Hearts, a Legion of Honor, along with recognition for D-Day, the Battle of the Bulge, and the Korean War.

While it’s been more than 70 years since these were pinned on his uniform, Gwynn rejoices in a visit where he can share the secret to his success.

“All these medals and stuff, I can’t claim them. I don’t want you to give me credit, give the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ name. He did it. That’s it.”

Gwynn ended his service after returning from Korea. He spent his career as a prison minister. Gwynn outlived his wife, son, and daughter.