World War II veteran receives medal 73 years after service in Guam
A 91-year-old World War II veteran in Muskegon, Michigan had to wait until Friday to receive an accolade he earned 73 years ago.
William Naill served in the Navy for over a year in Guam as part of an occupational force unit protecting the citizens and returned to the U.S. in 1946.
” I got discharged from the hospital in Oakland, California and they just opened the gate and let me out, ” says Naill . ” You want to get off as bad and as safe and quick as you could. ”
And he did.
But, without something he and many others say he deserved: the U.S. Navy Occupation Service Medal.
” He occupied part of that occupational force that would keep the people of Guam safe, ” says Chaplain Wesley Spyke of the West Michigan Office of Veterans Affairs. ” We try to give them their just rewards. ”
Spyke put in the paperwork for the medal after a cook at Naill’s home got the ball rolling.
” My parents, grandparents, as far back as I know are veterans so I try to help and he deserves it, ” says Stephanie Jenkins, SKLD cook.
Catching up on a moment that was 73 years in the making.
” I just feel like I deserve it, ” Naill says.
He shared the experience with family, friends, and most importantly, his wife of 71 years.