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Valley World War II veteran surprised with drive-by birthday celebration

Salvador Leon
Posted at 8:18 PM, Sep 20, 2020
and last updated 2024-03-28 16:46:48-04

UPDATE: Family members have announced that WWII veteran Salvador Leon died on March 27, 2024, at the age of 99.

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A Valley World War II veteran was surprised by a socially distanced birthday celebration.

Salvador Leon stood in his driveway while friends and family cheered, said "Happy birthday," and shot confetti to celebrate his 96th birthday.

"He's proud of what he did. He's proud of his family, proud of the friends that are still left, so I think this was neat for him," said Philip Leon, Salvador's son. Leon's party parade drawing cheers from the neighbors as well.

Leon is a veteran of the U.S Navy who served in WWII at the same time as four of his brothers. All five survived the war safely

"Anything that is done for me, or is said about me, goes for all five of us," said Leon. "I just feel so fortunate."

Leon is one of nine siblings, and is the last living sibling. He said every day he feels grateful to be alive and in good health.

"I still feel extremely fortunate," Leon said tearfully. "I see all these other veterans; some without legs, some without arms, a lot of them in wheelchairs, and here I am still going along. That's the feeling I always get, fortunate. Very fortunate."