SWEETWATER, Tenn. — A veteran of the D-Day invasion celebrated his 98th birthday Friday in his hometown of Sweetwater.

Clinton Riddle crash-landed in a canvas and wood glider behind enemy lines in France almost 75 years ago.

Friday marked the chance for his neighbors and family to show their love for a man who became a preacher and poet after surviving four invasions and hundreds of days in combat during World War II. 

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"We know everybody in here and they are all different pieces of our past and present so seeing them all come together is just overwhelming," Riddle's daughter Connie said. 

Riddle agreed. 

"It means so much to see all my friends and relatives and so forth…making new friends," he said. 

When asked what his secret to living 98 years was, he said "being good" and laughed.

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10News followed Riddle on a return trip to Normandy back in 2014 for the 70th anniversary of D-Day. 

He plans to head back to France in June for the 75th as the last surviving member of his unit. 

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