Army veteran from Smithfield celebrates 90th birthday with surprise parade

Posted at 9:19 AM, Apr 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-26 10:19:37-04

SMITHFIELD, Va. - Ernest Bowser has been through a lot in his life.

Born and raised in Pennsylvania, the now-Smithfield resident served as a corporal in the Army during the Korean War. He was married to his wife for 62 years before she passed in 2017, and the two had four beautiful children together. He's a colon cancer survivor and has been cancer-free since 2017.

It's easy to see that his life has been filled with many accomplishments. Adding to that list, he's now made it to the tender age of 90.

His family had been planning a big celebration for over a year, but the coronavirus put a major dent in their plans. Rather than say 'Maybe next year,' the family recruited some people to put on a surprise birthday parade.

When Ernie walked outside, he was greeted by his four children, son-in-law, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren driving by with signs. Even better than that - they weren't alone.

In procession was the Smithfield Police Department, Smithfield Fire and Rescue and the Bayside HOG's of Portsmouth. The showing of support rendered Ernie almost speechless.

He said, "I was totally surprised. I had no idea what was going on. This was all done by my family members and they got everything organized and I was unaware of what was going on. I really enjoyed every minute of it. It was great and I thank them all very very much."

Happy birthday, Ernie, and cheers to another decade!