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.