CT veteran honored on his 100th birthday

Fred Carlage was surrounded by friends and family on Tuesday (WFSB)

Veterans Day was almost two weeks ago, but pausing every day to thank the men and women who fought for our freedom is something we should all do.

On Tuesday, Connecticut veteran Fred Carlage got the attention he deserved on his 100th birthday.

He’s a World War II veteran who, just one year ago, was finally honored with the victory medal and lapel button for his service in the U.S. Air Force.

"My father, in his final years, reflects on his past quite often and the main topic is always his service in the air force,” said Fred’s son Dean Carlage.

Family, friends and fellow veterans gathered at the Veterans Coffee House in Killingly, honoring the man who was a navigator, first lieutenant, and served on a B-24 with 47 bombing runs.

"During that time, he was on a bombing mission and a 50-caliber bullet came through the plane within a foot of where he was sitting. He was a lucky man to be alive that day,” Dean Carlage said.

"The turnout of the crowd really speaks volumes about how really deep this community feels about his service and gratitude for the example he set for all of us,” said Congressman Joe Courtney.

Courtney represents the second district, which is home to 70,000 of the state’s 200,000 veterans, according to the congressman, who joined Senator Richard Blumenthal for Fred’s celebration.

"This is a momentous event, we're very happy to be here and it'll go down in our family history as a very proud moment,” Dean Carlage.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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