CLEMMONS, NC (WFMY) -- A Triad war hero is celebrating a big milestone!

Lt. Anthony Goebel, who fought in World War 2, was surprised by family and friends party Friday night, to celebrate his 100th birthday.

For someone who just hit the century mark, Goebel still looks good!

"Well, I'm alive," he joked.

That's because Goebel has spent a lifetime making good choices.

“No drinking and no smoking,” said Goebel. “I love pretty girls. It keeps me going.”

The birthday boy was surrounded by pretty girls Friday night at his surprise party at the VFW in Clemmons.

It’s a place Goebel has cherished for a long time.
He was a lieutenant in the Air Force and fought in World War 2 as a wingman.

“I flew all over the US, Canada and Mexico. Every chance I got to fly, I flew,” said Goebel. “I was shot down one time. My plane was shot up but I wasn't injured. I was lucky.”

Pictures, medals, and even a letter of appreciation from the President of the United States tell the story of his service.

► Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the WFMY News 2 App now.

“My dad is the best dad in the world. I'm very proud of my father,” said Goebel’s daughter, Susie Bowman. “I know there are others who fought in the war but this is my blood.”

Goebel was presented with his old military hat and a replica of his flight jacket as gifts for his birthday.

"It's a real pleasure,” he said. “I didn't expect this."

But for his 100th birthday, Goebel has just one wish.

"I want to live another 10 years," he said as the crowd cheered.

Goebel has been flying planes ever since he left the military.

He only quit just a few years ago.

Now, he spends most of his time taking care of his wife, who has dementia.

Goebel says he wants to live long enough to see someone walk on planet Mars.