Drive-By Celebration in Euless for Veteran's 96th Birthday

John 'Sonny Boy' Palko didn't have to go without a birthday party because of the pandemic. The people of Euless made sure the party came to him.

NBCUniversal, Inc.

John 'Sonny Boy' Palko sat in a lawn chair under an umbrella in his Euless neighborhood Thursday morning, and waited with anticipation.

"I can't believe this," Palko said under his breath as the first car came up over the hill, in a line as far as his eyes could see. "Wow, so many people! Gosh! No ending!"

Cars decorated with American flags and 'happy birthday' signs passed by Palko's front yard seat, honking and shouting well wishes along the way.

"I can't believe I'm 96," Palko said with a twinkle in his eye. "No way!"

The retired soldier served in World War II. He was a prisoner of war and received a Purple Heart.

"It's hard to imagine today what he went through," Palko's son, Gary, said. "We're just proud that he's being honored today. He deserves it, all the things he's done for the country."

The parade down Palko's street lasted close to 20 minutes. The veteran was clearly moved by the mobile party.

"Oh, I can't believe this. No! I never dreamed this all happening," Palko said as his neighbors clapped. "I love you...I love you all!"

Contact Us