GIBSONTON, Fla. — Ray Chambers has lost count of how many harmonicas he owns. He has a one-inch-long one, a few older models, and a new one his friend Tim Read brought him from a summer vacation to Germany.

“I like the sound of it,” said the WWII veteran. “I can play any song I can hum.”

He turns 94 on Aug. 21 and lives in a home he built himself in Gibsonton. Above his carport flies a pristine America flag. The Iwo Jima survivor salutes the flag through song each day.

“God Bless America,” he said when asked his favorite tune. “Many a guy heard their last music from my harmonica. I played it aboard ships, on land, every place. I always had my harmonica with me.”

He toots a few different patriotic songs each day from his armchair.

“Oh Susanna” was the first song Chambers learned to play. That was nearly nine decades ago. His wife of 60 years, Mary, loves the music.

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