SLO veteran honored by a group of military heroes on his birthday
U.S. Marine Corps veteran Sgt. Elizabeth Ross celebrated her 100th birthday in San Luis Obispo in patriotic style over the July 4 holiday weekend.
On Saturday, Ross’s daughter, Ellen Pezo, and her siblings surprised Ross and his family with a procession at Pezo’s house. Ross turns 100 on Tuesday.
A dozen cars and motorcycles carrying American flags and “Happy Birthday” banners met in the parking lot of the SLO Swim Club before driving past Pezo’s house at 2 p.m. while honking their horns.
Saturday’s birthday bash was hosted by the nonprofit group Welcome Home Military Heroes, which hosts welcome home events and other celebrations to honor military service members.
Ross served the Marine Corps in San Francisco from 1943 to 1945. She was responsible for recruiting new officers and inventorying equipment, according to an invitation sent by Welcome Home Military Heroes.
“She proudly told us that she had never lost a vehicle!” Pezo, wrote in an email.
After his service, Ross attended UC Berkeley on the GI Bill, according to Welcome Home Military Heroes.
After the procession, Ross veterans presented him with several awards, including the Welcome Home Military Heroes Challenge coin, the Beirut Veterans of America coin, and a Welcome Home Military Heroes certificate.
Ross also received letters wishing him a happy birthday.
“Thank you very much,” Ross told the presenters. ” I do not know how to thank you. (Thank you with all my heart.
Saturday’s celebration ended with a salute from veterans, including two members of Ross’ family. The vehicles then drove off, honking their horns again.
“Today was amazing,” Pezo told The Tribune. “So moving for the family.”