Blacksburg community surprises 96-year-old veteran for birthday

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7)— A Blacksburg World War II Marine veteran turned 96 over the weekend and got a special surprise from his family and the community.

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Theodore Hayman had tears in his eyes when officers from the Blacksburg Police Department and several families from the town came to wish him well from a distance.

The police provided an escort for the group and everyone made signs and sang songs to make his birthday even more special.

“To see those happy tears, it was awesome and I think just to see the community of people in Blacksburg that took the time out of their day to come wish him well that meant so much to him,” said his granddaughter Amy Gray. “If you have the opportunity to make someone’s day, you should take that opportunity and do it.”

Gray posted on Facebook the night before asking for people to come and help him celebrate. She said four police officers and several families helped to do just that.

“I think during these uncertain times and this scary time that it was amazing to be surrounded by love and hope and for everyone, this started at 8 p.m. on Saturday night and by Sunday afternoon everyone was on board and they were willing to come and make his day special,” Gray said.

His great grandson, who shares the same name, was thrilled to make his day special.

“Our great grandma died the year before, so I think it was just really special to him and he really liked it,” said Theodore Kai Gray.

Gray said it will be tough to top this next year for 97.

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