A local veteran celebrating 100 years of life, as the Carson City Senior Center hosted a very special birthday on Friday.

World War II Veteran, Merle Larson, was born on this day, February 9th, in 1918. He tells us, "I would've never thought I would make it over 60." He also never expected Friday's birthday celebration and show of community support. 

Larson was drafted for the service during WWII and says, "I was lucky enough when I got drafted to be sent to Moffett Field." He served for four years as a mechanic and then as an army pilot. A task he was well-prepared for, saying, "I studied airplanes ever since Lindbergh flew and that was 1927."

During his service, Larson carried out a total of 34 missions in a B-24. Friday, Carson City Mayor Bob Crowell celebrated Larson's bravery with city honors. Crowell said it was a privilege to be there, "It's important we make sure that we honor and respect all of our senior folks for what they have done in their lives and what they've done to make our country a better place to live and Merle is right at the top of that list."

Also a veteran himself, the Mayor and Merle shared memories about their service.

So what's Larson's secret to longevity? Well, he says, there's really no secret at all. "God has been very kind to me."

When we asked Merle what his favorite invention he has seen in his lifetime is, he says, although he's not particularly a fan of the smartphone, he is amazed with the technology behind it.

Happy 100th birthday, Merle!