(Catie Beck, NBC News) – For most people, birthdays are mere milestones. But for Ray Chavez, every March 10 is an annual miracle.
The oldest living Pearl Harbor veteran turned 105 years old on Friday, kicking off a three-day celebration in his hometown of San Diego, California.
“Somebody upstairs is taking care of me and has extended my life this long and I’m very grateful,” Chavez said.
NBC News first met Chavez in December, when cameras followed him through his return journey to Pearl Harbor for the 75th anniversary of the infamous attack. It was then that he shared his motto for a long life: survival of the fittest. And he takes that seriously, spending every Tuesday and Friday working out with his trainer.
It was only fitting that the gym would be where Chavez kicked off his birthday celebration. He completed a workout and then had cake with friends.