A local veteran is celebrating his 100 birthday this Veterans Day.
Martin Medrano celebrated a century of life along with his kids, his grandkids, great grandkids and even great great grandkids.
Medrano enlisted in the army in 1944 as a Private First Class in the Cavalry Division.
He served for two years until he was honorably discharged after contracting malaria. But, he wasn’t in the clear. A few years later he faced death once again.
“Nothing happened at war and then I had that accident, it’s kind of funny,” said Medrano.
Medrano got in a car accident, he drove off a cliff.
“I went 75 feet into the ground,” said Medrano.
According to his family, paramedics had declared Medrano dead, but he was still alive.
“I broke my head, my arms, my legs, so I stayed there for a long time,” said Medrano.
To this day, Medrano still has a metal plate in his head from that accident, proving he’s not only a war hero, but a fighter.
“He was a hero in the army, but he was a hero here at home,” said Richard Medrano, the vet’s youngest son.
Medrano and his wife Eva had 13 children. They gained legal custody over four of their grandkids. In total, they raised 17 kids.
Sally Medrano, responsible for organizing the party is one of those grandkids.
“He’s a special person, he’s my hero and I love him deeply,” said Sally Medrano.
Now, her son, his great grandson, is following in his footsteps.
“It feels really good to make him proud,” said Juan Garcia, Medrano’s great grandson. “To know that he served in a very important war, I really appreciate his service and it really motivates me to continue.”
Garcia just got back this summer from an Air Force Active Duty Tour. Currently he is serving as a reservist for the National Guard, and his mother couldn’t be prouder.
“Having the love that I have for my dad and him being the person that he is, I’m so honored that my son also decided to do this for my country,” said Sally Medrano. “So, it makes me feel really happy and honored as a mother.”