LOUDON, Tenn. (WATE) — One East Tennessee veteran is being celebrated for his service to this country and for reaching a milestone birthday. Pete Weber Jr. is 102 years old. He’s lived a full life but if you ask him, he’ll say he’s just lucky.
Nov. 7 marked Weber’s 102nd birthday. He was a pilot in the Air Force for more than 30 years and only recently quit flying.
“I flew until I was 96,” he said. “The reason I quit was because my wife didn’t want to be alone anymore.”
However he admitted to sneaking in a flight or two every once in awhile.
“There’s a company called Cirrus in town and they had me out there, and I flew one of their jets about two or three months ago,” Weber said. “That was a lot of fun.”
This year on Veterans Day, he’s was showered with good music, food and company. His apartment complex is helping him celebrate his 102nd birthday with a joint birthday party.
“It’s a super, super party. I never expected anything like this. Everybody’s out there having a good time,” Weber said.
After serving in three wars and breaking the Guinness World Record for oldest active pilot, he’s got plenty of stories to tell.
“I was in the service during World War II in the South Pacific,” Weber said. “(I) Flew P-38s in Manila (and) helped liberate the Philippines. And I was in the Philippines when World War II ended.
“Then I was still in the Air Force when Korea happened. So I served in Korea, and I was still in the service during Vietnam and I served in Vietnam. I’m just a unique person I guess. I managed to get through all these wars and still be around.”
Pete hasn’t backed down from many challenges in his life, and now at 102, he’s taking on a new one.
“When I moved to Tennessee you have to get your driver’s license renewed,” Weber said. “So I went to the DMV to get my driver’s license renewed. I asked the clerk how long is this good for? He said eight years.
“I was ninety-eight at the time. I said I’ll be back.”