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Maine World War II veteran celebrates 101st birthday

Arthur Babineau was joined friends, family, volunteers from Honor Flight Maine, and his wife of 78 years, Alphena, for the celebration.

PORTLAND, Maine — It was a special occasion at Becky's Diner in Portland on Wednesday afternoon as friends and family gathered to celebrate a monumental birthday of a WWII veteran.

"Been a long road, but we're still going," Arthur Babineau chuckled. 

On Wednesday, November 23, Arthur turned 101 years old.

"I feel a little more like 41," Babineau laughed. 

Babineau was accompanied by his daughter Donna, granddaughter Jennifer, neighbors, volunteers from Honor Flight Maine, and his wife of 78 years, Alphena.

"He's a good husband. Patient. Good with the kids. Couldn't ask for better," Alphena said. 

Babineau served in the U.S. Army during WWII and was on the front lines throughout Europe. 

Babineau was born in New Brunswick, however, he moved to Maine at four years old in 1925. He lived much of his life in the Greater Bangor Area, before moving to Portland later in life. 

His family said he's an avid hiker, camper, and fisherman too.

"Those traditions continued with my children, my brother's children. And now the second and third generations, and it's all because of my parents," Donna Somma, one of Arthur's three children said. "I couldn't have picked a better set of parents."

During the celebration at Becky's, many restaurant goers noticed signs, or heard "happy birthday" being sung. They came to wish him happy birthday too, and thank him for his service.

Just one day before Thanksgiving, Arthur said he has much to be grateful for.

"I'm thankful to be here. My health, I have my health. Great people around me. Couldn't ask for better," Arthur said. 

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