SAN ANTONIO – Ruth "Buttercup" Sparks is healthy, enjoying life and ready to celebrate her 104th birthday. 

Sparks, along with her family, came over to the United States in 1926, when she was 11 years old. 

The journey from Denmark took 10 days.

After arriving in the U.S., her family settled in New York.

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She would later join the U.S. Navy in 1945. 

"I was the second class of WAVES," Sparks said.

The U.S. WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) were a branch of the Navy during World War II. 

She worked as a mechanic and a secretary during the war. 

Sparks eventually asked to be moved to Texas because she said she hated the snow. 

She ended up in Corpus Christi, where she met her husband.

In 1972 the couple moved to San Antonio, and she has lived here ever since. 

When asked what keeps her going, she said exercise and drinking from time to time is her secret.