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Air Force Academy band celebrates veteran's 100th birthday

Posted at 9:54 AM, Jun 04, 2020

COLORADO SPRINGS — Reaching 100 years old is a special occasion for anybody but for one veteran of the U.S. Air Force, his birthday was extra special.

News5 Photojournalist Ryan Mutch captured the day as the U.S. Air Force Academy band celebrated retired Lieutenant Colonel Egon Schottleutner Wednesday. The veteran served from 1939 to 1969 and was a member of the U.S. Army Air Corp before the Air Force existed.

The band arrived to his home to make sure he had the birthday celebration he deserved.

"This guy was flying biplanes at the age of 18 when he first joined the Army Air Corp, and he told the story of flying over some cows, buzzing the cows, and another time when he went under a bridge. And he was highly reprimanded, but that's the kind of spirit he has," said Kathy Snapp, his daughter.

Posters with "Happy 100th" decorated the lawn as the band played for Schottleutner and family.

"We played the Armed Forces Medley. When he was involved and engaged in these conflicts, engaged in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, he wasn't just serving alongside shoulder to shoulder, arm and arm with the Army and Air Force. It's a completely unified front," said 1st Lieutenant Brian O'Donnell with the band.

Schottleutner's son, Kim, said the energy was "beyond expectation" for a 100-year-old veteran.

"I hope somebody took a picture of this," Schottleutner laughed. "I want to see this in Heaven someday."