Veteran Gets Surprise 97th Birthday Parade: 'It's a Wonderful Life'

Veteran Gets Surprise 97th Birthday Parade: 'It's a Wonderful Life'


A 97-year-old veteran got a surprise from his community for his birthday that he will never forget.

A veteran of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, George Vanvekoven goes by “Van” in his community and is known for telling captivating tales about his time in the Air Force.

So, his community decided they wanted to give back to this special member of their community.

Local restaurant Mission BBQ, members of local motorcycle groups, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office and the Fire Department, and American Honor Guards made a collective effort to celebrate Vanvekoven’s birthday with a parade, WWAY reported.

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“Van is a VIP with us at Mission BBQ, and he’s part of our family,” said Faith Sipe, community ambassador with Mission BBQ. “When I heard that he was turning 97 years on April 2nd, I thought it would be nice to have one of those

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