BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - World War II veteran Leroy Poydras celebrated his 99th birthday with many friends and family members.
“I never had a birthday party until I got to be an old man,” said Poydras.
He was born in 1921 and grew up during the Great Depression. He says those experiences helped to shape him into the person he is today.
“I said, momma if God let me live to be a man and let me be fortunate to have children, that will never happen to them. I went in the service right out of high school. I stayed in the navy six years, two months, and eight days. I went from being a seaman to chief petty officer, in less than 3 years,” said Poydras.
Poydras spent his next 30-years as a science teacher. He notes the experience was different from his time in the Navy, but still dedicated to serving others.
“I take pride in knowing that I've been part of something good, something worthwhile," said Poydras.
Poydras says there are hidden secrets to his long life, but he says his students think differently.
"My students told me I mixed some chemicals up in the laboratory and drink it. That’s what my students told me.
Whatever it is, he is hopeful it takes him to see his next birthday.
“I’m 99 years old and I’m going to make that hundred too. I’m going to make it,” said Poydras.