UTICA -- A local World War II veteran celebrated his 100th birthday Thursday.
The celebration was held at American Legion Post 229 in North Utica.
Nearly 100 people came out to enjoy food and birthday cake to help the Army veteran celebrate.
John Loperfido served in the U.S. Army for four years and fought in one of the biggest wars in history.
At the celebration close friends gave birthday speeches.
Loperfido says the key to living so long is leading a healthy life.
He has won many awards for his service over his lifetime.
Loperfido says he enjoyed celebrating his milestone.
"It's unbelievable, the reception that I got," Loperfido said. "It makes me feel so good."
One organizer says Loperfido was his mentor, and even inspired him to join the military.
Loperfido says he's traveled all over the world and still remembers being at battle.
He says one moment he remembers most is rescuing a nun during a battle in Germany.
The celebration ended with the American Legion's monthly meeting.