World War II vet celebrates 103rd birthday in Delaware County: 'My daughters make me stronger'

Happy birthday, and thank you for your service!

A local World War II veteran just turned 103, and he got the celebration he deserved!

Navy Lt. Ralph Perkner served in World War II and the Korean War. He is a father of five, and a doctor of optometry who retired at the age of 90.

On Sunday, all his years of service were recognized with a hero's welcome as his community escorted him through a flag line at Mission Barbecue in Springfield.


Once inside, he received a number of proclamations, cards, special gifts and awards, including one from the Korean-American Association of Philadelphia.

Family and loved ones gathered to proudly sing happy birthday to their beloved Ralph.

So, what is the 103-year-old's secret to a long life? 

"My daughters," Ralph said. "It’s the ladies that makes me stronger."

Plus, all those years of waking up at 5 a.m. to swim laps at his local YMCA!