Local WWII veteran turns 95, receives drive-by birthday parade

ASHLAND, Ore. — A World War II veteran celebrated his birthday from his front porch today as family and the community threw him a parade.

Motorcycles, dogs, and a whole lot of veterans all came together for Joey Vidmar’s 95th birthday Monday.

Vidmar was drafted into WWII when he was just 17-years-old.

“I said I want to be there, I want go fight. Oh yeah, once you’re there, you don’t wanna be there,” said Vidmar.

Vidmar’s goal is to reach 105 and become the oldest living war veteran.

“My mother was 102 and I’m hoping to pass that,” he said.

Vidmar says living through a pandemic amidst everything else he’s experienced in his life is nothing.

“It’s a pandemic overseas for everybody I guess. If you can survive over there, then you can survive over here,” Vidmar said.

He was able to share his big day with family far and wide through a Zoom meeting.

And, he’s grateful for his family and community putting together a wonderful birthday.

“This is way beyond my birthdays. I always thought I needed a little piece of cake and blow the candle and hope for the best for another year. I almost broke down and cried,” he said.

Vidmar says the secret to making it to age 95 is eating well, laughing when you can and staying close to your children, if you have any.

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