A Texas retiree who served in both World War II and the Korean War was brought to tears as he celebrated his 101st birthday — at a Hooters.
Harry Perez Cerezo, a Purple Heart recipient, rang in the milestone birthday in El Paso surrounded by the chain’s famous “Hooters girls,” who serenaded him before presenting him with a cake and a cap signed by the staff in recognition of his 22 years of military service.
“I’ve never seen him cry, and we saw him cry there. The tears just came rolling down,” Cerezo’s niece Josie Ramirez told DailyMail.com about the Jan. 5 celebration.
“He liked the atmosphere, the girls, and the customers,” she told the outlet. “Everybody was coming in and buying him a drink or greeting him, and he really enjoyed all of that. He took it all in.”
Cerezo was so delighted by the celebration, at which his nieces, their children, and their grandchildren were in attendance, that he reportedly vowed to spend every birthday from now on at the irreverent chicken wings chain.
He had never even heard of Hooters until last year when Ramirez and her husband Victor brought him there to honor his tongue-in-cheek request to see “some behind” on his 100th birthday.
Ramirez said her uncle rarely goes out because he’s hard of hearing and stubbornly refuses to wear hearing aids, but he had an abrupt change of heart when he walked through the doors of their local Hooters.
“He was like ‘oh my god … if I live to be 101 I want to come back here,” Ramirez said of Cerezo’s reaction to the festive environment.
Cezero was just 17 when he enlisted to join the US Armed Forces, serving in both World War II and the Korean War.
He was shot in the back in Korea, for which he was awarded the Purple Heart.
After his military service, he worked for the US Postal Service until his retirement.
Soon after enlisting, he married his late wife Bibiana Perez.
He’s been living alone and completely independently since Bibiana died in 2018.
As for his secret for a long life, Ramirez said her uncle is an avid exerciser, taking multiple daily walks on his treadmill and riding a stationary bike while he watches Mexican soap operas.
Avoiding overeating seems to be another key factor to his longevity, which was on full display during his birthday party — where the centenarian munched on a modest two wings and some cake.
He saved plenty of room for beer, though, admitting to his niece that he had skipped his medication the day of his celebration so he could “drink it up” this year.