(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Bob Brakley, a decorated WWII veteran, celebrated turning 100 years old on Friday, Dec. 30.

“Tears have been happening all week,” said his granddaughter, Elizabeth Brakley. “I love that man so much.”

Brakley served his country for most of his life. In 1943, he enlisted in the Army and became a welder before he joined the air corps. During World War II, Brakley recalled using his welding expertise several times, including once on a ship as they were heading to Hawaii.

“It developed a leak,” he said. “I said ‘I’m a certified welder’. So I went down in the hull, and I set there welding up cracks.”

Later, he was shipped to Okinawa on D-Day.

“We had to scale down the sides of the ship with our full pack and rifles, get in the landing craft and they took us to the beach,” Brakley said.

When he returned home to the United States, he joined the police force.

“I worked myself up to sergeant, then a lieutenant, and a captain in my 20th year. And the new town board came in and gave me the chief’s job,” he said.

Brakley receiving a hero’s celebration for his birthday.

He retired from police chief in 1976 before moving back to Colorado Springs, where he picked up various hobbies.

“There’s not much I can do anymore,” he said with a laugh.

His granddaughter disagreed.

“That man, to this day, he fills out about probably a hundred pages of crossword word searches every day that’s routine,” Elizabeth said.

She said this might be why he’s so sharp. But it’s not just crossword puzzles. He had many other hobbies he kept up until recently.

“He was driving until he was 95 or 96, golfing until he was 95, bowling until he was 98… that man does it all,” Elizabeth said.

And the secret to a long, healthy life? According to Elizabeth, it might be sheer will.

“He’s a very stubborn man so once he made it 95, we all think he was like: ‘I have to go to 100’.”

Whatever it is, 100 birthdays add up, so he said his kids made him a deal.

“Dad’, when you turn a hundred you got to pay for your own birthday’,” Brakley said with a chuckle.