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Photos by Heather Barry/Philadelphia Phillies

Veterans home resident receives a ‘Salute to Service’ surprise while celebrating 100th birthday

May 8, 2024

It was a very special day for World War II veteran and Southeastern Veterans’ Center resident Paul Trumbetas on Tuesday, May 7.

While he was celebrating his 100th birthday with his wife Barbara, his son John, his daughter Denise and 100 of his fellow veteran residents, he had no idea that he was about to get a surprise visit from Army national guard military vehicles carrying some very special guests, including the Phillie Phanatic, Phillies broadcaster Tom McCarthy, 1993 National League champion Mickey Morandini, the Phillies Ballgirls and Bob McCormick, representing Toyota and the Tri-State Toyota Dealers Association.

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The Phillies and Toyota joined the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) to celebrate Trumbetas’ 100th birthday and thank him for his service. Trumbetas was personally invited to attend the Phillies-Nationals game on Saturday, May 18, where he will be recognized on-field during that evening’s Salute to Service presented by Toyota at Citizens Bank Park.

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Morandini presented Trumbetas with a game ball to deliver to the mound at the Phillies Salute to Service game. He was also given a custom Phillies jersey with the No. 100, and a written birthday greeting from Governor Josh Shapiro.

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Participants also included DMVA Executive Director Travis Davis, Brigadier General Terrence L. Koudelka Jr., and the Keystone State ChalleNGe Academy Color Guard.

The salute concluded with the Phanatic leading the guests to sing “Happy Birthday” while Trumbetas was presented with his birthday cake.

Trumbetas served in the Army Air Corps from 1943-1946 as an Ariel Engineer with a rank of Private First Class.