HOKE COUNTY, North Carolina (WTVD) --A 94-year-old World War II veteran who served under General George S. Patton got a big surprise in Hoke County.
Congressman Richard Hudson presented decorated veteran Wendell Young with a special tribute on Thursday.
Young was greeted by roaring applause inside the Rockfish Town Hall during a surprise ceremony to celebrate his accomplishments.
Those accomplishments include the Russian Medal of Courage and two Silver Stars. Seventy years ago, Young helped protect General Patton's war tanks and later supported paratroopers in the Battle of the Bulge.
"Patton got a notice that they needed him at the Battle of the Bulge, so we drove all night about a hundred miles," Young recalled.
Thursday, Congressman Hudson presented Young with a copy of the formal recognition speech that he gave on the House floor this year. Hudson's district includes Moore County and parts of Hoke County. Once he heard Young's story, he knew he had to tell it to the House floor.
"I think it's important to honor folks from the World War II generation and honor them as an example," said Representative Hudson.
Many regard Young as an example, but his sons say he's an even better father.
"He's just Dad to me," said Young's oldest son, Timothy. "He deserves all the recognition he gets, but to me, he's just dad. And I think that's kinda cool."
If you ask retired Staff Sergeant Young what he thinks about all the hero talk, he'll chuckle and modestly tell you he was just responding to the call of duty.
"I was just doing a job that I was supposed to do," Young explained.
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