ROCKY HILL, Conn. (WTNH) — Today marked a very special celebration in the town of Rocky Hill as a former Middletown firefighter and World War II veteran celebrated his 103rd birthday.

John E. Cyrulik was escorted to his birthday celebration Saturday afternoon on a fire truck along with member of the Middletown Fire Department. The event kicked-off at the Elks Lodge, where Cyrulik was greeted by Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, Middletown Mayor Ben Florsheim, State Senator Matthew Lesser, State Representative Quentin Phipps, and other state and local officials.

Cyrulik, born in 1918, grew up in a four-bedroom apartment on Butternut Street in Middletown with his nine siblings. He believes his longevity is mainly due to “going easy on liquor” and an inclination to work hard.