WWII vet celebrates 100th birthday with his first birthday party ever

WWII vet celebrates 100th birthday with his first b-day party ever

CHEVIOT, Ohio (FOX19) - A nursing home resident got his first birthday party thrown for him on Friday as he turned 100 years old.

Celebrating a birthday during a pandemic with limited people while showing your love and appreciation from a social distance is still hard to get used to, but for World War II veteran Elmer Kruse, this birthday is a special one.

Because of Kruse’s religion, he hasn’t had a birthday party for himself or others.

So, the staff at Terrace View Gardens along with Kruse decided turning 100 is a milestone worth celebrating.

“He told our receptionist, he said he’s never really celebrated birthdays, but he thinks this one might be a little different,” said Terrace View Gardens Administrator Sandy Campbell.

He seemed to enjoy every minute of the party.

“I feel pretty good,” Kruse stated.

“It’s a little bit different during the COVID time," explained Campbell. "We’d love to have a big bash for him but we’re doing everything we can to be safe.”

The WWII veteran has seen a lot over this past century while stationed in Europe with the Army.

After the war, the North Fairmont native married his wife Ida, who has since passed away, and worked in print for The Enquirer.

But with all the memories, talking baseball took him back to his childhood like it was yesterday.

“I seen my first game at the Reds in 1927,” he said. “It was an Exhibition game with the Yankees. To this day I can’t remember what they did.”

Kruse says he doesn’t have any secrets for a long life but has learned to live and cherish each moment he’s given.

“I don’t know why I’m 100," he stated. "I was born 100 years ago that’s why. . . and I keep plugging along.”

The staff at Terrace View Gardens says the pandemic has been tough on all the residents because they are still not allowed to have any family or friends visit.

But that may soon change with the new order coming down from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.

According to Gov. DeWine, nursing homes and long-term facilities will be able to reopen to visitors on Oct. 12

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