A Navy veteran who served on the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor celebrated his 100th birthday Thursday, and got surprise birthday wishes from the White House Secret Service, according to Fox News.
Navy veteran Ken Potts, one of two survivors from the USS Arizona still alive today, was a crane operator and aboard the vessel when it was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941, Fox News reported. Potts was able to escape with fellow sailors who were above deck at the time of the attack.
On Potts’ centennial birthday, Sgt. Jonathan Stockeland, a 35-year-old Marine Corps veteran, filmed a video wishing Potts a happy birthday from in front of the White House, according to Fox News.
Today, Ken Potts, one of two USS Arizona living survivors, turns 100-years-young! From all of us at the Secret Service, we wish you the happiest of birthdays! ????
— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) April 15, 2021
Potts, who now resides in Utah, met Stockeland when he took a “Veterans Tour” of the White House in 2017, during which he met President Donald Trump, according to Fox News. Stockeland, a member of the secret service, volunteered to give the tour to the veterans
At the time, Stockeland was unaware that Potts and three other veterans on the tour were survivors of the USS Arizona, Fox News reported. (RELATED: One Of Two Surviving USS Arizona Crewmen Recalls Pearl Harbor)
A Secret Service spokesperson told Fox News that Potts is sure to receive many video messages celebrating this momentous birthday, but that Stockeland’s personal message will be shared with Potts and his family.
Potts was 18 when he joined the Navy. After recovering from the attack for about a year, Potts reenlisted in the Navy, and served on a destroyer that partook in the invasion of the Philippines, Stars and Stripes reported.