A 98-year-old survivor of the Pearl Harbor attack would regularly visit the USS Iowa near his home in Southern California, but health issues recently kept him away -- so in a viral video, the Navy came to him.
Chief Selects from the Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center in San Diego marched down the street outside veteran Ernest Thompson's home in Gardena, south of Los Angeles, in the video posted online earlier this month.
The crew sang "Anchors Aweigh" from the street as Thompson stood on his building's porch and saluted.
Then, one by one, the officers walked up the stairs and shook the veteran's hand.
Thompson served on the USS Missouri, a sister ship of the USS Iowa, during World War II, and was on board the USS Tennessee at Pearl Harbor during the attack, the CEO of the Battleship Iowa Museum, Jonathan Williams, said. Williams is Thompson's grandson, KTLA reported.
Still in awe of his fellow service members, Thompson would often stop by the USS Iowa -- until earlier this year, when a fall made walking much harder for him, the museum reported. "Being a World War II vet -- there's hardly any of us left anymore. So all of us that's still living -- we are all still heroes," he said.
His grandson told reporters the veteran was truly honored by the officers' efforts. "My grandfather told me that it was one of the best days of his life."
The Navy crew reportedly gave him a special plaque made with wood from the USS Iowa's deck.
The video has since racked up millions of views.