Ohio Iwo Jima veteran turns 100 with a grand celebration

Toledoan and newly minted centenarian Tom Maloney received a special birthday drive-by, live music and special honors from the Legion Riders for his big day.

TOLEDO, Ohio – One hundred years of life and service to our land deserves a grand celebration, and that is exactly what happened Wednesday for Tom Maloney of Toledo.

A grand procession isn’t for just anyone, but for 100 year old World War II veteran and survivor of the Battle of Iwo Jima Tom Maloney, the American Legion riders wanted something special.

“Besides being the amazing person, and Iwo Jima survives as a Navy Corpsman and does everything he’s ever done, how many times does someone live to live to be 100?” Legion Rider Secretary Lianne Whitaker said.

If you ask Maloney, he’s not convinced he did anything special.

“I can’t understand this, I don’t deserve any of this,” said Maloney.

His fellow veterans, family members and neighbors who showed up to say “Happy Birthday” would disagree.

“Moments like this you realize the uniqueness of it. I know when I was growing up I didn’t know how special it was to have a grandfather in World War II,” said Maloney’s grandson Jon Balcerzak.

With 100 years of experience, Maloney has this message for anyone looking for words of wisdom:

“Live your faith, love your country.”

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