ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s not just a century of life for this Albuquerque resident; it’s the 100th birthday of a Bataan Death March survivor.
Sunday, family and friends celebrated Ralph Rodriguez’s milestone.
Rodriguez was drafted into the U.S. Army when he was 18-years-old.
While serving, his family says he was a prisoner of war for three years. He also endured the Bataan Death March, where hundreds of American POWs died.
Rodriguez’s family says his story of courage and hope makes celebrating 100 years of life so special.
“Our family is just very blessed and our father has touched lots of hearts and all of these people are trying to give back to him today,” said Monalisa Rodriguez.
Rodriguez is a native New Mexican. He is originally from Bernalillo but moved to Albuquerque when he came back from the war.
He says next years he wants two parties for his 101st birthday “just because.”