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World War II veteran celebrates 100th birthday

Ray Day served in the U.S. Army First Cavalry Division for three and a half years.

MILAN, Ill. — A World War II veteran is celebrating a milestone birthday. 

Ray Day celebrated his 100th birthday surrounded by friends and family at the Milan American Legion on Saturday. His birthday is Wednesday, April 20.

"We need to honor every one of them," his niece Cindy Sill said. "They're getting farther and fewer between and I am blessed to have one veteran as my uncle."

Day served in the U.S. Army First Cavalry Division for three and a half years. He was in the Philippines for much of that time and received a Medal of Honor.

"I believe the President of the Philippines at the time pinned his medal of honor on him," Sill said. "I think it was heavy combat that he received the Medal of Honor for because I know he was in trenches. One time he spent 30 days in a trench and didn't, couldn't take off his boots."

"There's artillery, there's tanks, there's everything in sight firing, more people in many of those battles have died than lived through it. Ray was in some of those battles," said Milan Post 569 Acting Commander John Flaharty. "And just the fact that he's not only still here, but at 100-years-old, still walking around, still working on his cars, just a wonderful man."

Day has been married to his wife Dolores for the last 72 years. He collects and restores Crosley cars.

"He's working on a 1940 Bantam truck right now. He's hoping the weather gets warm enough so he can get back out in his garage and work on it," Sill said. "100 years old and he still works on cars. Amazing."

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