From safe distance neighbors in Hays wish Navy vet a happy 97th birthday

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) While social-distancing and orders to limit gatherings kept Dan Hoffman's family from celebrating the Navy veteran's birthday like they usually do, that didn't stop an effort to make sure the Hays resident felt the love on his 97th birthday.

Hoffman's neighbors gathered Thursday to stand spaced out on the street in front of Hoffman's home and in his driveway, serenading him with a round of "Happy Birthday." Hoffman walked out to find balloons, "happy birthday" posters and a birthday banner on the railing of his front porch. As the photos and a short video show, the gesture brought a smile to Hoffman's face.

"Of course we can't go in and visit in these times. We usually always have a get together for him on his birthday," says Chris Compagnone, one of Hoffman's six grandchildren. Compagnone says Hoffman also has two daughters, and 11 great-grandchildren.