A U.S. veteran got a special tribute from his favorite hockey team on Thursday night, just ahead of his 100th birthday.
Sergeant Philip Agisim of New Jersey was in attendance at New York City’s Madison Square Garden for the New York Rangers game against local rivals, the New York Islanders, when he got a special salute on the GardenVision jumbotron.
Agisim — whose actual birthday is on Saturday — was born to an immigrant family from Russia in New Jersey, and went on to attend Rutgers University. He became a Sergeant in the U.S. Army, serving during World War II.
After the war, Sergeant returned to the East coast, eventually becoming a CEO of a large advertising agency in New York City.
According to the special tribute, Agisim shares his love for the NHL team with his children and grandchildren — a sport he used to play with them.
After the GardenVision video — part of the Garden’s Salute to the Troops program — Agisim was presented with a personalized jersey, and a birthday cake by Rangers legends Adam Graves and Stéphane Matteau.
Agisim was all smiles as the gathered crowd sang him a rousing happy birthday.
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Despite his advanced age, Agisim is still fit. According to the Rangers and MSG Networks, he does 100 push-ups and sit-ups a day to stay fit, and six days a week makes sure to walk 1.5 miles.