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WWII veteran celebrates 106th birthday in style

Veterans Voices

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — It’s not every day a fire truck and parade make the rounds for your birthday —but then, it’s not every day you turn 106.

Betty Petrie, a veteran of World War II, celebrated in style on Friday. She said the keys to a good long life are simple.

“[Live a] good, clean life,” Petrie said. “Happy family.”

Petrie joined the U.S. Navy after the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. At the time, only men could serve in most Naval branches, so Petrie became part of the WAVES, or Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, a branch of the Naval Reserve that enlisted women.

Nearly 80 years later, she’s still tight-lipped about the classified projects she dove into.

“Oh yes,” Petrie said when asked if she would continue to keep her secrets. “That still goes.”

The celebration took place at Castle and Cooke Real Estate in southwest Bakersfield. Along with the community parade, Petrie received gifts from mayor Karen Goh and the Christian Motorcycle Association. She also got to ride in the fire truck.

Kern County is full of veterans with stories like Petrie’s. This month, 17 News will be sharing some of those stories with through the Veterans’ Voices series.

If there’s a veteran whose story you’d like to share, send a note to

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