World War II veteran Manny “America” Ruiz reached a milestone a few days ago. This man who showed bravery many times over the course of his life turned 100 years old!

Back in 1940, he married the love of his life, Mona, whom he met while growing up at the farming communities around Minneapolis. The two were married for 70 years before Mona passed away. But Manny is still a lucky man who has four children, five grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren who remind him how much he means to them every single day.

Source: YouTube

Reaching 100, all the family and friends gathered together to celebrate the joyous occasion. However, before that, something truly special happened.

Some 15 or more years ago, when Manny was having his hair cut at the Leucadia Barber Shop, the owner, Linda, promised to give him a free haircut once he turns 100.

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Believe it or not, Manny, who didn’t have a middle name and gave the name America to himself, kept a written proof of the promise he was given.

Source: YouTube

“I’m back, you never thought I’d be back, I want a free haircut, it was promised, start clipping,” Manny told Linda when he entered the barber shop.

Linda couldn’t believe her eyes. “A free hair cut when you turn 100 and you’ve been waiting for what? 17 or 18 years?” she said according to 11 Alive News.

“I am entitled to a free cut when I reach one hundred years of age, it’s legal document,” Manny said smiling.

Manny’s grandson Scott Thompson raised a glass of champagne in his grandpa’s honor and said: “He is a true American hero, thank you grandpa. I love you, Happy Birthday.”

Daughter Karen added: “I’m so proud of my dad, my dad is just top notch.” She then explained why she believed this free haircut meant so much to her father. “It’s free, he was born in the depression, he was raised in the depression and this is his way of saying ‘give me something free because I was born in the depression and I didn’t have anything.’”

Happy birthday, Manny, and thank you for your service!

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