BLAIR COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ)– A World War II veteran celebrated his 100th birthday surrounded by his immediate family, Hollidaysburg Veteran Home staff, and his V.F.W. friends.

Dominick Sanzo was born in Central City in Somerset County and is a first-generation American. He joined the Army in 1942 at the age of 20.

He served during World War II as a medical technician in Central Burma from 1944 to 1946. He held the rank of Staff Sergeant. He was awarded the America Theater Ribbon, Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon with two Bronze Stars, a Good Conduct Medal, and Victory Medal. He was officially discharged in 1946.

“That’s a step up from combat medic,” Commandant of Hollidaysburg Veteran Home Samuel M. Dunkle said. “He was awarded the good conduct medal, the Pacific campaign medal, and the World War two victory medal.”

Shortly after being discharged, he joined the V.F.W., where he’s the last charter member of Post 7457 in Central City. He then spent most of his life as a coal truck driver and equipment operator.

“After he got out of the war, he joined the V.F.W. I believe he has over 75 years at the V.F.W. life membership,” Dunkle said. “That’s pretty impressive.”

“I know he’s also one of the only World War Two veterans left in Central City,” said his great-granddaughter Jayda Ferko.

The family greeted Sanzo with some cakes and gifts. He was also presented with service medals from the state’s Department of Military and Veteran Affairs. Then the Veterans Home and his V.F.W. Post members gave him speeches also.

Sanzo received other birthday greetings from state officials, including State Senator Judy Ward, 79th District Representative Lou Schmitt, and even Governor Tom Wolf. His family and staff said he was tickled and excited to see everyone come out to celebrate.

“It’s an honor, and I mean, we’re proud of him for what he’s done for everyone and everything,” Ferko said.

Sanzo presented his medals to his great-grandson Brayden, who was thankful that he received the gift from his “Pappy.”

“I love him very much, and I’m thankful that he gave me them,” Brayden said.

Dunkle said that Sanzo moved into the home seven months ago, and he’s already in the minds of many of the nurses. He said the nurses and staff love his sense of humor and joy. They say it’s wonderful to hold this event for someone with so much history in his lifetime.

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“It’s just an honor to be able to hold an event like this for a Great American,” Dunkle said. “Who served his nation during one of the most significant wars in our history. He’s a great addition to the family here at H.V.H.”