EDISON, N.J. (WNBC) – In your late 90s, you might want to relax, but not Bartholomeo “Bennie” Ficeto.
Two days a week for four hours a day, he is at a New Jersey supermarket cracking jokes and bagging groceries. Ficeto has worked at the stop and shop in Edison, New Jersey for 10 years.
His time manning a gunner for the U.S. Army during World War II taught him all about hard work and a sense of gratitude after he survived getting shot down.
So it is only fitting that a man who nearly gave his life for his country got a surprise: a red, white and blue-themed party for his 98th birthday. Tuesday at Ficeto’s party, there were balloons, treats and lots of hugs. He even got a lotto ticket.
Women with the USO were singing some of his favorite songs while he tapped his feet a moment that brought tears to his eyes as memories started flooding back.
“I think it’s a pretty nice thing. I never expected anything like this,” Ficeto said. “I’m going for 100. If I make 100, I’ll be satisfied.”