A World War II veteran was honored on Thursday at the Veterans Administration in Fresno.
99-year-old Gome Ruiz received his war medals that had long ago been lost.
Ruiz's family says seeing the smile his face was well worth the year of work it took to get them.
Gome Ruiz happily accepted about a half dozen medals and pins he earned while serving in the U.S. Army from 1941 to 1945 in Rhineland, Central Europe, Normandy and Northern France.
Last year, his family recognized the importance of his missing medals and vowed to honor him before his 100th birthday, which is January 14th.
With a salute and a handshake, Ruiz showed his appreciation, but no one is more valued than the man who sacrificed for everyone else 70 years ago.
Ruiz's nephew, Stan Ruiz said, "I honestly feel if we had that same attitude now as a nation, like the Greatest Generation did, our country would be a lot better off.
Below is a list of awards and decorations the Army says Ruiz is entitled to:
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
European African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one Silver Star
Word War II Victory Medal
Army Occupation Medal with Germany Clasp
Marksman Badge with Carbine Bar
Click the related link to hear about the Purple Heart that Ruiz says is still missing.
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