‘It was an adventure’: WWII vet gets medals 70 years later


OLD TAPPAN, N.J. (WABC/CNN) - A World War II veteran from New Jersey received his service medals 70 years after his service.

"I will tell you my days in the Navy were some of the best days of my life," said 92-year-old Thomas Simpson.

The American Campaign, the Asiatic Pacific and the World War II Victory Medals are the medals Simpson earned more than 72 years ago.

He was determined to get them after a question from one of his grandsons.

"So, he said, 'Papa, what did you do in the war?' I said, 'I'll get my medals and I'll show you,'" he said.

Congressman Josh Gottheimer made sure the medals got to the man who enlisted as a 17-year-old.

"I had a flag flown over the United States Capitol in honor of you and your service to our great country," Gottheimer said to Simpson.

Since his service, Simpson has been busy with other things. He married the love of his life, Dorothy, and went on to be a police chief for 23 years.

His family attended the small ceremony at the assisted living facility where Simpson resides. There he met another Navy veteran, Phillip, who they discovered attended the same boot camp class.

"It was an adventure," Simpson said. "We wanted to do it."

Along with his medals, Simpson also now has the "Ruptured Duck" Honorable Service Lapel Pin.

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