WWII Vet Receives Incredible Surprise for 93rd Birthday

by Keeli Parkey

A group of United States Marines went out of their way to honor a World War II veteran last week. To say this vet was moved by their incredible surprise would be an understatement.

According to Fox News, this World War II veteran was Lake Worth, Florida, resident Peter V. Ruvolo. Wednesday, July 14, was his 93rd birthday. However, this was not really a day of celebration for him. In fact, he didn’t plan to celebrate this year. Ruvolo’s wife died in August 2020. The couple’s birthdays were only two weeks apart, so the vet wasn’t really up for a celebration, according to his daughter, JoAnn Ruvolo Pedalino.

However, the Young Marines of the Palm Beaches had plans that definitely helped brighten his day. This group held a parade that traveled by the World War II vet’s home on his birthday. They wanted to show their appreciation for his military service, as well as his service to their unit, Ruvolo Pedalino shared.

The vet’s neighbors came out to watch the parade and honor their neighbor. Many of them were very emotional at the sight of the Young Marines marching by Ruvolo. As the flag passed, Ruvolo made sure to honor it.

“Those Young Marines came down the block, and my father stood up and saluted them and would not sit down until that flag passed…it was just unbelievable,” Ruvolo Pedalino shared.

Not only did the Young Marines honor Ruvolo with a parade, they also visited with him afterward. He shared the wisdom he has gained throughout his 93 years and shared some of what he has gone through.

“And he really feels like his legacy is going to continue because of the Young Marines. It was unbelievable the emotion that he felt for those young kids,” Ruvolo Pedalino.

Unsurprisingly, what happened on his birthday was a moving experience for this World War II vet. His daughter said Ruvolo “could barely find the words” to explain what he felt about his surprise birthday celebration. The vet later said out of all his birthdays, this one was at the very top of the list.

Vet Established Unit That Helped Him Celebrate His Birthday

Turns out, Peter V. Ruvolo has a very close connection to the Young Marines of the Palm Beaches. He helped establish the organization in the area during the 1990s.

According to Foye Belyea, Ruvolo worked as support staff for the Young Marines of the Palm Beaches after he began the unit. The vet’s work at the time took place “in the formative years when the unit was just getting off the ground,” Belyea said. Belyea is the unit commander of the Palm Beaches unit.

The first Young Marines group was established in 1959. It grew to have units across the United States and abroad.