Charlotte, North Carolina (CNN) - He's not the oldest person attending the Democratic National Convention, but Stephen E. Sherman may be the most resourceful.
Although the California delegate survived the Great Depression, World War II, and segregation over the course of his 91 years, there was one little thing that almost prevented him from witnessing the renomination of the nation's first black president: the billfold containing his ID and convention credentials that he left sitting at home shortly before his cross-country flight.
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But that's when "The Commander" took over. That's what he likes to be called: "Commander Sherman."
Using a combination of charm and the bright array of military decorations adorning his green Army jacket, the Commander talked, laughed, and cajoled his way through the TSA checkpoint all the way to Charlotte and into a new set of tightly controlled convention credentials. Unbeknowst to millions of American air travelers who obediently remove their shoes and their metals and provide proof of identification upon demand, being Commander Sherman has its privileges.
"I came all the way here with no ID. I got here on my ingenuity," he said. "I'm really blessed, man. They just trust me. I told them I'm a 91-year-old World War II vet. I was honest."
Once in Charlotte, Sherman faced a confusing maze of ever-shifting security barriers and closed streets. In the days before the convention began, he said he was able to convince taxi drivers to drive in restricted areas with only the assurance that if they were stopped, the Commander "will talk to them." But he had his work cut out for him when security measures tightened considerably once the convention began.
At his hotel located several blocks from the convention hall, the Commander was running late for a 3 p.m. interview with HLN's Kyra Phillips. Unable to find a cab, he set out on foot for the Time Warner Cable Arena.
After the first block, Sherman saw an opportunity and seized it.
"Hey!" he shouted at a passing ambulance. "I'm a 91-year-old World War II veteran. I need a ride."
After a brief examination, during which he proclaimed, "I'm fine, I just need a ride," Sherman boarded the ambulance and got a lift to the next security barrier. There, he was greeted by one, then two, then a small group of local police officers who took turns shaking his hand and thanking him for his military service.
"Thank you for saving us from speaking German or Japanese," said one officer.
From there, Sherman shuffled through the Trade Street transit center when he saw his next opportunity.
"Hey!" he shouted at a woman in a golf cart. "I need a ride!"
The Commander made it to the interview on time and repayed those who helped him along the way with hugs. The ambulance driver. The woman in the golf cart. The volunteer who pushed his TWCA courtesy wheelchair. The CNN runner who escorted him to the interview. And Kyra Phillips herself.
"I've never met a stranger in my life," he said.
"I'm a happy man. Most people my age walk around like this," he said while making a motion that vaguely resembled a zombie being electrocuted. "Not me."
Sherman says he hopes to use his position as a delegate to bring attention to his two missions in life: eradicating homelessness among veterans and securing both a memorial and a posthumous Medal of Honor for Doris Miller, the African-American Navy cook who manned an anti-aircraft machine gun during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
"That's my goal in life," said Sherman, who knew Miller personally and refers to him as "my hero."
Charlotte marks the Commander's second convention. He attended the Denver convention in 2008 "with $4 in my pocket," and he hopes to attend his third in 2016.
"God willing, I'll be right back here."