World War II veteran and Purple Heart recipient Henry C. Michalak celebrated his 95th birthday at the home of his niece, Kathy Parsons Sartor, in Marlin on Oct. 21.

Though the graduate of Marlin High School and Texas A&M University knew the family was gathering for his birthday, he did not know that four Marines would make a surprise appearance to present him with a certificate of appreciation for his military service during World War II.

The surprise visit was further made special when Marine Sgt. Toni Blow sang “Happy Birthday” to Michalak. A barbecue lunch was enjoyed by the 38 people attending, followed by the presentation of the certificate by the Marines.

Niece Alicia Michalak and and nephew Greg Michalak, both Texas A&M graduates, presented the honoree with a certificate of appreciation and birthday wishes from the Texas A&M Association of Former Students along with Texas A&M shirts.

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