WWII vet celebrates service, 101st birthday ahead of Veterans Day

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BISMARCK, N.D. - It’s been 73 years since World War II ended. Many of the 2 million Americans who served in that war have passed, but there are still a few around.

Alex Muggli served in the Navy from 1942-1946. He was originally drafted into the Army, but joined the Navy when he realized he could get a better deal. Now living at St. Gabriel’s in Bismarck, the facility got a turn to say thank you.

Muggli was one of 25 veterans honored for their service.

"I never expected this and I'm just as happy as can be about it and surprised. It's just wonderful,” said Muggli.

Muggli's journey started back in 1942. He was a radio technician instructor in the Navy, teaching students about radar.

"They asked me what kind of a ship I wanted and I said give me a destroyer. Well typical Navy, you know what they did? They made an instructor out of me. Wouldn't give me what I wanted,” said Muggli.

After his discharge in 1946, he continued his radio skills as a ham radio operator for 80 years, something he passed on to his son.

"Always been interested in electronics just like my father because I used to watch him operate his radio station, so I became an amateur radio operator too. Although, not as active as my dad,” said his son David.

"I've talked to every country in the world, even to many other places,” said Muggli.

He's since turned off his broadcast, focusing on spending his time with his wife of 70 years, Alice.

We asked him what's next in his life? He smiled and said, "102."