MELVILLE, Long Island (PIX11) – A World War II veteran celebrated a huge accomplishment on Friday by turning 100 years old.

The West Babylon resident has been fighting a rare disease for more than ten years, but that wasn’t stopping his surprise party from happening at St. Charles Physical Therapy in Melville on Long Island.

“Fred’s physical therapy and rehab team have always admired his desire to keep moving despite having been diagnosed in 2011 with a rare disease called Guillain Barre Syndrome,” said Laura Beck, vice president of rehabilitation at St. Charles Hospital.

The disease causes muscle weakness due to the immune system damaging the peripheral nervous system. He’s the eldest patient, but he’s a star patient and an inspiration to everyone who meets him.

“Even at this age at 100, he’s spot on,” Judy Rourke, a friend, said. “It’s wonderful to be in his company. We enjoy him so much.”

“It’s a pleasure to see him, and he’s happy to be alive,” Jan Fine, another friend, said. “It’s really a beautiful thing to see.”

How does Fred feel about turning 100 years old?

“It feels alright,” he said. “I can’t walk too good, but everything else feels good.”

He worked on the maintenance of U.S. Army Air Force bombers for three years. After the war, he was an aircraft mechanic for Lockheed Martin in Iceland.

He was honored with three proclamations on Friday for his contributions to this country and received a letter from President Joe Biden thanking him for his service.

Married for 50 years, Fred’s wife Norma recalls some of their earliest memories.

“I remember going to the zoo,” Norma said. “I remember dating. I remember going to restaurants.”

And what is Fred’s secret to living so long?

“Just behaving and never smoked, never drank,” Frank added. “I drank, but never that much [and I] ate what mother put on the table. That was one thing back in our days— you hear the kids [say today], ‘I don’t want that.'”

And if the cake wasn’t on his mother’s table, he ate it on Friday – as any 100-year-old should.