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Nearly 70 Years Later, NJ Vet Finally Receives Medals Earned In World War II

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J.(CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey man is finally getting the recognition he deserves, nearly 70 years late.

As CBS 2’s Vanessa Murdock reported, the World War II veteran received the medals that he earned while proudly serving our country.

Overwhelmed and shedding tears of joy WWII veteran Francis MacNair, 97, could not believe that his day had finally come.

MacNair enlisted in the Army in 1941. He served first as a medic and later with the special forces as part of a glider operation. He vividly remembers a close call that he had in France.

“The lieutenant and I went up to see where they were bombing our ships from. We damn near got killed that time,” MacNair said.

He dodged death and went on to serve his country until 1945. Close friend and caretaker Christopher Kuberiet said that MacNair talks about the war on a nightly basis.

“We just had recurring conversations about the war, his service to our country, and medals that he never received,” Kuberiet said.

Medals that he deserved. That’s why Kuberiet contacted Senator Robert Menendez to ensure that his friend, a member of America’s greatest generation, got the recognition that he deserved.

“At age 97 we have a chance to make things right and honor him,” Sen. Menendez said.

MacNair was honored with the Army Good Conduct Medal and the WWII Victory Medal, and others. In total he earned nine medals and said that receiving them has been a long time coming.

“About 10 years later I sent to get the medals, but never heard nothing,” he said.

Now he’s got them and it seems that nothing other than the love of his life, Alice, could make him happier. On September 20, they will celebrate their 72nd wedding anniversary.

“If I had to do it over again I would. This is a great country and everybody should appreciate it,” he said.

MacNair said that his love of wine and baseball have kept him spry at the age of 97.

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