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LOVELAND (KDVR) — A decorated World War II combat nurse celebrated her 99th birthday. She was caught off guard when a parade, in her honor, rolled right by her front door. 

The day started out pretty much like any other day for Leila Morrison, except she is celebrating a birthday.

“I got some bad news for you, it gets worse,“ Morrison said, laughing.

Best pal and Vietnam veteran Phyllis Minch organized Wednesday’s festivities.

“We are two peas in a pod. She has educated me so much, I didn’t know that much about Normandy,“ Minch said.

Leila Morrison knows a lot about Normandy. She was a U.S. Army Air Corps combat nurse who served from Normandy, France, all the way to Nazi Germany.

”I ended up spending a couple days in Buchenwald, the largest concentration camp in Germany,“ Morrison said.

Second Lt. Morrison performed triage at an evacuation hospital near the front line, close enough to become a casualty herself from German artillery. 

”They made me jump, and I was ashamed that I did that. I didn’t want to show emotions like that,“ Morrison said.

At her birthday celebration, there were different emotions, like gratitude from a community. A parade of appreciation. Police, fire, EMTs and fellow veterans, waving, beeping, smiling.

Leila Morrison was smiling, too.