World War II Vet Celebrates 101st Birthday

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PLAINS TOWNSHIP -- World War II veteran Michael Kelly celebrated his 101st birthday Monday at the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center.

Kelly is proud of his service in World War II. He can tell you he spent some of his time in the Pacific.

"I was in different kinds of combat that were not recorded in my record," he said.

Even though he's 101 years old, Michael Kelly's nephew says the aging veteran is not forgetful. He's just being a good soldier.

"I guess sometimes you don't want to tell the stories you really know and that's probably more of the truth than anything," said Stanley Kulikasky.

At his birthday party at the VA Medical Center near Wilkes-Barre, Kelly was surrounded by relatives. The old soldier says being with family keeps him going.

"Without family, we have nothing. With families, we have everything the good Lord was destined for us to have," said Kelly.

During the birthday celebration, Kelly talked of what it was like when he joined the Army and leaving his childhood in the community he still calls Mauch Chunk, the community in Carbon County that changed its name to Jim Thorpe in the 1950s.

And to celebrate his way, Michael Kelly called on his 95-year-old kid brother to sing a Lithuanian folk song together. At 101 he still knows almost all the words.