HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – A World War II Navy Veteran celebrated his 100th birthday a little early in Ona Sunday.

Veteran Gene Caldwell was surrounded by family and friends as they all took turns remembering the years of memories and good laughs.

At the event, there were pictures and cards detailing all he has done and the impact he’s had on the lives of the people around him.

West Virginia Delegate Daniel Linville also came out to recognize Gene on his special day as a birthday surprise.

This event was put on by his close loved ones and they say after all he’s done for his country and back home, this is the least they can do.

“We just wanted to honor him on his 100th birthday. It’s quite an accomplishment. he served in the Navy in WWII, and he was a radioman. He could do morse code and all the kinds of signaling that there is, he’s an expert at that. We’re just really proud of him and all that he’s done in his life,” explained his daughter, Joyce Ross.

Del. Linville says now they’re working to get a bridge named after Gene and his brothers – who also served – and they’re hoping to have that done sometime soon.