WWII veteran who served 22 years in the Army celebrates birthday on 2/22/22

James Veltri turned 100 years old Tuesday

SAN ANTONIO – James Veltri celebrated his birthday Tuesday on a very peculiar date.

Veltri was born Feb. 22,1922, or as he says, “2/22/22.”

And if today’s date isn’t peculiar enough, Veltri also served 22 years in the military. He enlisted in the Army Air Corp. in 1944 and was later drafted.

“I enlisted right out of high school, I think, I was about 19,” he said.

Veltri flew 51 bombing missions over Germany, Austria, Poland, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Romania, accumulating over 6,000 flight hours.

“My main job I had was commander of navigation training school. We graduated about a thousand graduates a year. That was a gratifying job,” he said.

After his service, Veltri studied at Trinity University and majored in economics, but it was his accomplishments in the military that have brought him the most pride.

His room in the Army Residence Community in San Antonio proudly displays, photos, awards, and even a nicely pressed set of dress blues.

“I had a great career, I can’t complain,” Veltri said.

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About the Author:

Jonathan Cotto is a reporter for KSAT’s Good Morning San Antonio. He’s a bilingual award-winning news reporter and he joined KSAT in 2021. Before coming to San Antonio, Cotto was reporting along the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas. He’s a veteran of the United States Navy.