PENROSE, Colo. (CBS4) – A Colorado World War II veteran celebrated his 101st birthday in his hometown of Penrose.

(credit: CBS)

John Sekulich was drafted before the war, but was sent home to take care of his father.

(credit: CBS)

Sekulich then volunteered to return when the war began.

John Sekulich (credit: CBS)

He was surrounded by loved ones who shared stories about his life on Saturday.

(credit: CBS)

Sekulich shared his secret to making it to 101 years old.

(credit: CBS)

“Hard work. No smoking. No smoking. Never smoke in my life. Drank very little,” said Sekulich.

John Sekulich (credit: CBS)

He said, “Try to get along with everybody, and help those who need it.”

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