Decades after he served his nation in World War II and just days before his 95th birthday, Air Force veteran 2nd Lt. John R. Pedevillano finally received a Purple Heart award.

Pedevillano received the award at a special ceremony at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.

He was a bombardier in the 306th Bomb Group, flying missions over Nazi Germany on the B-17 ‘Miss Carriage.’

Pedevillano’s plane was shot down by the Luftwaffe, and he was captured as a POW and forced to march 300 miles to the Stalag Luft III prison where he was interred.

 

Via Fox News Insider:

A World War ll veteran finally received his Purple Heart on Friday for his service in the U.S. Air Force.

Seven decades later, 2nd Lt. John Pedevillano of College Park, Maryland received his medal at a special ceremony at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia just before his ninety-fifth birthday.

Pedevillano’s plane was shot down over Nazi Germany in April, 1944, where he was taken as a prisoner of war in Zagan, Poland until the Allies rescued him in 1945.

He was too humble to demand his due reward for his service when he returned home, but his daughter found his military records and lobbied Congress to recognize him.

Two years earlier, Pedevillano received the Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism in combat. Another former prisoner of war, Senator John McCain, presented him with the award.

 

“I promise you, you are an inspiration for those now serving and those who will serve,” McCain told him.

“I didn’t do any more or any less” than any other veterans who served, Pedevillano said at the time. “I just appreciate the chance that I served my country.”

Even now, Pedevillano remains humble saying “All I can say is I love this country.”

“The greatest things of my life was this country and my wife,” he added.

Thank this veteran by sharing his story with friends and family!

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