Ever heard the saying, “better late than never?” Those words rang true for a World War II vet Friday. After more than 70 years, a local World War II veteran received a well-deserved Bronze Star Medal.
Private William Grant, II is a decorated World War II veteran. The 92-year-old has received a Purple Heart and Campaign Ribbons, but there was still one award missing from his decorated U.S. Army chest, and it’s his Bronze Star.
“I really never thought about it, you know,” Private Grant said.
However, Grant’s curious son did think about it, and he wondered why his father, a man who enlisted in the military at age 17, never got the distinguished award.
“He made the arrangements for me to receive it, finally, after all these years,” Grant said.
“He’s my dad, and I’m proud of him, and you know he deserved it,” said William Grant III, Private Grant’s son.
After digging around his father’s military records, William found out the war hero had, in fact, been awarded a Bronze Star. However, he never physically received it; well, that is until Friday. Grant received his distinguished award more than seven decades after leaving the military.
The Nevada National Guard presented the soldier of the greatest generation with the belated award at the Clark County Armory. William said it was important to have a ceremony for his father at a military facility surrounded by loved ones and fellow soldiers.
“I thought this was a perfect way to celebrate his life while I still have him here,” William Grant, III said.
Grant served in Europe with the 60th Infantry Regiment, and he fought in some of the most significant battles of world war two.
“I think you have to remember that these medals don’t come cheaply and you go through hell to get them,” Private Grant said.
The Army veteran is humbled by the award, saying he’s no hero — he’s a soldier.
In 2004, William Grant, III took his father back to Europe for the 60th anniversary of the war. The duo re-traced the veteran’s footsteps during his time in combat.