World War II veteran's front-yard birthday surprise - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

World War II veteran's front-yard birthday surprise

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SUN PRAIRIE (WKOW) --  A surprise birthday party honors a World War II Veteran in Sun Prairie.

It wasn't the quiet birthday the 85 year old was expecting.

Stepping out his front door, Floyd Schmidt didn't expect to see dozens of people waiting for him in his front yard.. on his birthday.

Schmidt said later, "I didn't know what to think, I looked at it and I almost went back in."

What he thought was a neighborhood block party was a giant birthday party in his honor.

Schmidt was captured in World War II and held prisoner for almost a year.

Kathy Stoffregen, one of the planners of the birthday block party, says, "He has used his snowblower to snowblow our driveways, even though he's in his 80's. He's just a really nice guy, nice neighbor. It was about time somebody did something nice for him."

Schmidt adds, "I can't believe my kids are here. They live up north, and I didn't think I would ever see them down here."

Dave Schmidt, Floyd's eldest son, and also an Air Force Veteran of Vietnam, says, "Whoever put this together, I didn't think there were people left in this world that would go this far, to do something like this for Dad."

He added later, "If it wouldnt have been for my Dad today and what they did, we might not be here today in the freedom, like we've got."

Floyd Schmidt says, "There's guys that did a lot more than I did. Sometimes I wonder why I'm here and they're not. It's just unbelievable. Somebody higher up is watching over us, I'm sure."

Stoffregen adds, "I don't believe we recognize them enough for what they have sacrificed. I think that no matter how old they are or how young they are, we need to recognize what they have done, and what they are doing."

World War II veterans are especially important: federal officials have estimated about a thousand die each day.

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