94-year-old Kentucky veteran receives medals 72 years late

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A 94-year-old U.S. Navy veteran waited 72 years, but he has finally received the medals he’s due from World War II.

William Edward Gilbert is a patient of Robley Rex Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville, Kentucky. The hospital said he recently mentioned to his providers that he had never received his medals. The providers promptly took care of the problem.

On Thursday, Rear Adm. Michael E. Jabaley presented the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Silver Star and American Campaign Medal to Gilbert, who was surrounded by three generations of family. Gilbert told WHAS-TV , “It feels real good to get it.”

Gilbert lives with his only son, Bruce. Gilbert’s son said his father served from 1943 until 1946 and served on the USS Indiana in the Pacific during the war, earning the rank of steward’s mate.

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