An aging World War II veteran, Army Sgt. 1st Class Harold Nelson, has finally received all of the accolades he deserves for serving during “The Greatest Generation.”

Nelson was awarded the Army’s third highest honor, the Silver Star, during a ceremony at Fort Carson in Colorado last week, according to reports.

KTTV reported that Nelson had already received a pair of Purple Heart medals for wounds in combat. But he had yet to receive his award for valor.

“This moment means I’ve had a great life, a great family and great friends,” Nelson said, according to the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division. “And a lot of fun throughout the years.”

The local outlet provided more details about Nelson’s time in service:

Serving in World War II with F Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, Nelson was part of Operation Torch in Morocco, an Allied mission intended to draw Axis forces away from the Eastern Front in northern Europe.

Nelson also participated in Operation Husky in Sicily, and Operations Avalanche and Shingle in Italy following the invasion of Northern Africa. During his time in combat, Nelson was part of six different amphibious invasions and at one point served in 635 consecutive days of nonstop combat. Now, Nelson serves as the golden standard for those who serve.

At one point during a battle, Nelson climbed on top of a German tank and fired the turret machine gun at the enemy when a German soldier approached from behind and lobbed a grenade.

The blast tore off Nelson’s backpack but he continued firing at Germans who had taken cover.

His mother received a letter in 1944 from his commander informing her that her son’s name was submitted to receive a Silver Star, KRDO reported. Nelson’s records were destroyed during a fire at a military storage facility in the 1970s, but officials later decided to award him the medal for valor thanks to a detailed account of the war he gave and the old letter.

Nelson said he did not want all of the glory, however, and praised those who fought alongside him: “They were good to me and they were good combat men too. I appreciate them.”

“I guess the good Lord was looking after me. I made six amphibious invasions under enemy fire and there’s nobody that’s lived that long, I don’t believe. They didn’t get to kill me,” Nelson declared.


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