TEANECK. N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A local war hero celebrated a milestone birthday on Wednesday.

World War II veteran Herand Kafafian rang in his 100th birthday at a party hosted by Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, New Jersey.

The Purple Heart recipient has been volunteering at their gift shop for the last 15 years, and quipped about how he’s managed to stick around for so long.

“I got a bad case of claustrophobia, and by golly I’m scared as the devil to get locked up in a box six feet underground with a pile of salt on me,” Kafafian said.

The centenarian served in the Army from 1942 to 1945, where he was stationed in the Philippines.