ORMOND BEACH, Fla. – Dozens of people showed up Monday to help honor a World War II veteran celebrating his 103rd birthday in Ormond Beach.
Eddie Vrona said it’s been luck, support from his friends and family, and decades of love from his late wife, Georgette, that’s kept him alive and happy for so many years. He said fitness has also been key.
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“I’m lucky, honestly. Friends and family,” said Vrona. “We biked a lot, swam a lot, we ate good. We had no stress in our marriage, and she was easy to get along with in the marriage.”
Born in Wisconsin, the Ormond beach resident served in New Guinea in the South Pacific during World War 2.
He worked on planes as a technical sergeant in the United States Army Air Corps.
“I could insert it to the broken plug, drill the holes, collapse the broken plug, pull it out and in ten minutes, that airplane would be flying,” said Vrona.
Vrona’s neighbors and community leaders recognized his service Monday morning with a parade around his Ormond beach community and surprise visits from city and county leaders, including Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood. He was also given a plaque for his service.
“It was my idea to give him the award declaring this Ed Vrona Day because this really is his day,” said family friend and fellow veteran Alvin Levine.
“He loves people, he’s always thinking the glass is half full,” said Vrona’s son-in-law John Boquist.
When asked whether he’s a hero, Vrona told News 6, “We have 15 million heroes. I was just one of them.”