Local WW II veteran celebrates a century around the sun in a big way

There was a parade in Toledo Wednesday night, to honor the life and service of Dr. Tom Maloney.
Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 11:09 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A Toledo man celebrated a century around the sun with family, friends and even complete strangers Wednesday night.

There was an amazing celebration for Dr. Tom Maloney’s 100 years of life. Hundreds drove by in cars and on motorcycles, while others filled the front lawn and lined the street to honor Dr. Maloney.

Steve Engel is a Navy veteran with the American Legion Post in Ida, Michigan, and he was part of planning the party.

“This is a privilege for us. There is no way around it. It’s just special,” Engel said. “Every time I talk about it I get choked up. It has been an honor getting to know him.”

Dr, Maloney served as a medic in World War II during the Battle of Iwo Jima.

“I always felt like I’d been to hell, and I don’t ever want to go back to that,” Maloney said.

He came home and served this community as a podiatrist. He and his wife had nine children.

“He didn’t talk about it when we were growing up,” said his daughter, Ann Marie Balcerzak. “We knew he was in the service, but we didn’t discuss it. To find out everything he did do, boy, is he my hero. He went through a lot.”

This was certainly a fitting tribute for a hero, and Dr. Maloney loved every minute of it.

“It was impressive,” Maloney said. “What would you like to say to everyone who was here? Thank you. I want to thank them all very much. I appreciate each and every one of them.”

When it comes to getting to the century mark, Dr. Maloney has some simple advice he wanted to pass along.

“Tell everyone to live their faith and love their country,” he said.

People at the party said they plan to be back next year to help Dr. Maloney celebrate his 101st birthday.

There was a gentleman sitting next to Dr. Maloney on the porch during the party. He is a 103-year-old Navy veteran, and the two have been friends for about 70 years.

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