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AIKEN, S.C. (AP) — A World War II veteran has received the Bronze Star he was awarded 73 years ago for his service in an American-Canadian commando unit.

The State newspaper reports ( Pfc. James R. “Boots” Beatty of Barney, Georgia, served in the 1st Special Service Force. The unit is considered the first commando unit, predecessors of today’s Army Rangers, Green Berets and Navy Seals.

On Saturday, the 96-year-old Beatty received his Bronze Star during a special surprise presentation at his home in Aiken. His son-in-law, Jim Hamilton, said Beatty never picked up his medal because, like other soldiers, he wanted to get away from the events of the war.

Family members also presented Beatty with seven other decorations and recognitions he had won but lost during his many moves in the 1950s.


Information from: The State,