Neighbors help WWII veteran celebrate his 100th birthday

Reporter: Andrea Guerrero Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
Walter Kateley turns 100
Walter Kateley turns 100 Credit: WINK News

A hero turned 100 on Friday. And his neighbors pulled out all the stops to celebrate this World War II veteran.

A celebration one hundred years in the making came together on Friday. WWII veteran Walter Kateley is 100 years old.

So, his friends and neighbors picked him up on his decorated golf cart in Naples and made him the grand marshal of his own parade.

So how did Walter feel about all of this? “Flabbergasted,” he said. “People came out, and it surprised the heck out of me.”

Kateley enlisted in the Army when he was 18-years old and became a paratrooper. With honor, he wore his uniform in Belgium. And with honor, on Friday, he accepted a flag from the VFW as a “thanks” for his service. “I never expected this,” Kateley said.

WINK News asked him how he got to 100, and Kateley had to think a bit. “I don’t know! I don’t have any secrets,” said Kateley.

But, he did say life is about the simple things like saying “hi” to your neighbors. “Just be happy, try to be happy, think of the best things in life,” Kateley said.

And it’s the bike rides every single morning that bring him happiness. “I have a two-wheeler bike, and in the morning, I got a little package that I keep to feed the little doggies,” said Kateley.

So, then WINK News reporter Andrea Guerrero asked what Walter was looking forward to most after speaking with us. “Well, I’m going to go cut a piece of cake and some ice cream,” Kateley said.

And thus, he set his sights on making it to 101. Kateley told Guerrero that he was going to start a crossword puzzle and later ride his beloved bike to check the mail after the celebration.

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