LIFE

Grocery Store Throws Surprise Birthday Party For 98-Year-Old WWII Vet Who Works As Bag Boy

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is the Editor of Original Content at LittleThings. She grew up in upstate New York and Oregon and now lives in Queens, NY. Ileana graduated from Skidmore College with a degree in sociology. After graduating, she attended the Columbia Publishing Course in New York City, then worked as in marketing at Oxford University Press. Since transitioning to editorial, she has written for sites like BuzzFeed, HuffPost, and Unwritten. She has also worked for local newspapers and magazines in upstate New York. In her free time, you can find Ileana watching Law and Order: SVU, eating ice cream, and spending time with her dog.

Bartholomew “Bennie” Ficeto just turned 98 years old. His workplace, Stop & Shop, honored him by throwing him a surprise birthday party — complete with cake, a birthday button, and USO singers who performed songs from the 1940s.

Bennie is a bag boy at the Stop & Shop in Edison, New Jersey. Although he’s nearly 100 years old, he has no plans for retirement. Bennie absolutely loves working — he likes the people he works with, the customers he serves, and the feeling of putting in a hard day’s work.

He’s been that way since he was a teenager. At 19, Bennie joined the US Air Force as a pilot. He served in WWII, “flying a B-25 Mitchell medium-range bomber over North Africa and Italy,” reports Inside Edition.

After the war, Bennie had a variety of jobs. Eventually he retired, but he quickly became bored. Now he works two four-hour shifts per week as a bag boy at Stop & Shop. His boss, manager Sal Marconi, has only positive things to say about Bennie.

“Bennie’s got a great sense of humor,” Sal told CBS News, per Inside Edition. “He loves his job. He’s a great inspiration and morale booster for everyone else.”

Not only that, Bennie doesn’t take his scheduled breaks! Instead, he prefers to work right through them. For his surprise birthday party, Bennie’s bosses and coworkers had to force him to stop working to come celebrate!

Watch the video to see Bennie in action.

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