President Trump sends birthday letter to oldest living Pearl Harbor vet: 'Keep going!'

POWAY, Calif. (KSWB) -- The oldest living U.S. veteran of the Pearl Harbor attack, a 105-year-old Poway man, received a birthday letter Thursday from President Donald Trump.

After wishing Ray Chavez a happy birthday, the president wrote, "I also join your many admirers in thanking you for your service to the United States of America. As the oldest living survivor of Pearl Harbor, your remarkable story is treasured by our nation, and the sacrifices you made in service to our country should fill you with tremendous pride."

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Pearl Harbor survivors visit the base on the 75th Anniversary
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Pearl Harbor survivors visit the base on the 75th Anniversary
Pearl Harbor survivor Bill Hughes, who was aboard the USS Utah when it was attacked, arrives at a ceremony honoring the sailors of the USS Utah at the memorial on Ford Island at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Hugh Gentry TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Pearl Harbor survivor Delton Walling talks with U.S. Navy Admiral Margaret Kibben before a ceremony honoring the sailors of the USS Utah at the memorial on Ford Island at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Hugh Gentry
Pearl Harbor survivors Delton Walling (C), Gilbert Meyer (R) and U.S. Navy Admiral Margaret Kibben salute during a ceremony honoring the sailors of the USS Utah at the memorial on Ford Island at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Hugh Gentry
Pearl Harbor survivor Gilbert Meyer, who was aboard the USS Utah when it was attacked, attends a ceremony honoring the sailors of the USS Utah at the memorial on Ford Island at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Hugh Gentry
Pearl Harbor survivor Bill Hughes, who was aboard the USS Utah when it was attacked, arrives at a ceremony honoring the sailors of the USS Utah at the memorial on Ford Island at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Hugh Gentry
Pearl Harbor survivor Delton Walling walks with family members during a ceremony honoring the sailors of the USS Utah at the memorial on Ford Island at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Hugh Gentry
Pearl Harbor survivor Bill Hughes, who was aboard the USS Utah when it was attacked, arrives at a ceremony honoring the sailors of the USS Utah at the memorial on Ford Island at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Hugh Gentry
USS Arizona survivor Loren Bruner looks out the window of a helicopter during a special tour over the USS Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Hugh Gentry
USS Arizona survivor Loren Bruner looks out the window of a helicopter as he took a special tour over the USS Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Hugh Gentry
James Leavelle, a 96-year-old Pearl Harbor Survivor, attends an event honoring 30 surviving World War II veterans who will travel to Hawaii to attend ceremonies for the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., December 2, 2016. Picture taken December 2, 2016. REUTERS/Ted Soqui
Nelson Mitchell, a 97-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor, attends an event honoring 30 surviving World War II veterans who will travel to Hawaii to attend ceremonies for the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., December 2, 2016. Picture taken December 2, 2016. REUTERS/Ted Soqui
Emery Arsenault, a 95-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor, attends an event honoring 30 surviving World War II veterans who will travel to Hawaii to attend ceremonies for the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., December 2, 2016. Picture taken December 2, 2016. REUTERS/Ted Soqui
Tom Person, a 95-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor, salutes during the national anthem at an event honoring 30 surviving World War II veterans who will travel to Hawaii to attend ceremonies for the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., December 2, 2016. Picture taken December 2, 2016. REUTERS/Ted Soqui
Tom Person, a 95-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor, attends an event honoring 30 surviving World War II veterans who will travel to Hawaii to attend ceremonies for the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, in Beverly Hills, California, U.S. December 2, 2016. Picture taken December 2, 2016. REUTERS/Ted Soqui
The USO show troop from New York performs during an event honoring 30 surviving World War II veterans who will travel to Hawaii to attend the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., December 2, 2016. Picture taken on December 2, 2016. REUTERS/Ted Soqui
Jerry Yellin, a former captain and World War Two Army Air Force P-51 pilot, embraces Hiroya Sugano, director general of the Zero Fighter Admirers Club, during the 6th annual Blackened Canteen ceremony at the USS Arizona Memorial, during the 75th Commemoration of the attacks on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, U.S. December 6, 2016. US Navy/Petty Officer 2nd Class Somers Steelman/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Ray Chavez, 104, the oldest living Pearl Harbor survivor, rings the Freedom Bell during the Freedom Bell Opening Ceremony and Bell Ringing at the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, U.S. December 6, 2016. U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Wesley Timm/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Pearl Harbor survivor Fred Smith signs his autograph for Melissa Downy before the ceremonies honoring the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor at Kilo Pier on Joint Base Pearl Harbor - Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii, US December 7, 2016. REUTERS/Hugh Gentry
HONOLULU, HI - DECEMBER 07: USS Arizona survivor Louis Conter signs autographs before the start of a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor at Kilo Pier on December 07, 2016 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)
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Next to his signature, Trump wrote "Keep going!" The letter was tweeted out by presidential Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

Chavez, whose birthday was last Friday, was a crewman aboard the minesweeper USS Condor, the first ship to spot a periscope from a Japanese midget submarine that tried to find its way into the harbor. A nearby destroyer on patrol then sank the sub.

By the time Japanese aircraft roared overhead, Chavez was off-duty and sleeping at home. He raced back to his post, where he remained for a week. He later served as a quartermaster aboard a troop transport.

SEE ALSO: 75 years ago, an executive order sent 120,000 Japanese-Americans into internment

In interviews, Chavez has credited a twice-a-week exercise program at a gym for his longevity. A birthday celebration for him was held last weekend aboard the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum.

Winding up the letter, Trump wrote, "Melania and I want to join your friends and loved ones in honoring and thanking you for your service to our great nation. Our best wishes for health and happiness in the coming year."

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