1st responders celebrate local WWII vet’s 94th birthday with mini-parade

POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - South Florida first responders came out in full force to honor a local World War II veteran on his 94th birthday.

When Jack Isaaman walked out of his Pompano Beach home on Thursday, he had no idea what was waiting for him.

The honoree covered his ears while loved ones waved and smiled, and members of Pompano Beach Fire and the Broward Sheriff’s Office celebrated him with a mini-parade and a personal salute.

“We just wanted to come back and say happy birthday to you, and thank you for your service,” said a BSO deputy.

“It was a wonderful surprise,” said Isaaman.

The surprise celebration was the brainchild of Isaaman’s cousin, Barry Eaton.

“I walk in the morning, and I walk past the fire department, so I asked them, and then I walked past the boardwalk, and I spoke to the sheriff’s department,” said Eaton, “and they said, ‘If the fire department will be there, the sheriff’s department will be there.'”

Also on hand were neighbors who raced to their balconies upon hearing the commotion. Once they realized what was going on, they were more than happy to join in.

“It was so surprising. Everybody waving and giving thumbs up, and the people in the building were clapping,” said Diane Eaton, Isaaman’s cousin. “It was wonderful. It really was.”

Isaaman is a veteran of the British Merchant Navy who served during World War II. After he retired, he married Ivy, the love of his life.

For decades they were snow birds, wintering in South Florida to escape the Minnesota cold.

After Ivy passed away six years ago, Isaaman decided to make South Florida his permanent home.

“Many thanks for all the happy birthday wishes,” he said. “I’m very fortunate to be here at 93, 94. I’m still in reasonably good health, enjoying life.”

Isaaman is spending his birthday weekend moving into a new home in an independent living community.

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