World War II veteran from New Jersey celebrates 100th birthday

- Birthday parties are always special. But this one for Herand Kafafian of New Jersey is really special. The World War II U.S. Army veteran turned 100 and celebrated with family, friends, and co-workers. Yes, co-workers. Herand works in the gift shop of Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck. He has held the volunteer position for the last 15 years.

He said he is the luckiest man in the world in part because of his terrific daughters, sons-in-law, and grandsons.

During World War II, he was awarded the Purple Heart for being injured during the Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippines while under the command of Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

His family said that Herand has passed on many life lessons, including the need to think of others first, said Kristie Stahl, his daughter.

Karen O'Mealy, his other daughter, said her dad still likes to cook and makes his own breakfast and often dinner, too.

So what is his key to his long life?

His answer: he is scared as the devil to get locked up in a box 6 feet underground with a pile of salt on him.

Happy birthday!

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