A 97-year-old World War II veteran was awarded medals for his service on Tuesday, more than 70 years after he defended U.S. troops under fire from German soldiers.
Stewart Marshall, of South Carolina, was honored at a special ceremony in Lancaster County, where he received nine awards, including a Bronze Star and U.S. Army medal of commendation, for his wartime service, according to local media reports.
A humbled Marshall sought to downplay the significance of the recognition in a room surrounded by other veterans, WNCN reported.
"I appreciate it very much, but I'm a little uneasy," Marshall said.
"There’s no such thing as deserving anything out of this, because it’s a job that was needed," he said, according to the station.
U.S. Rep Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., who helped Marshall receive the long-overdue honors, joked about Marshall's humility before a packed crowd.
"I was talking to Mr. Marshall on the way in and he said, 'I hope there really isn't too big of a to-do today', and I said, ‘Well, bad news,’" Mulvaney said, WSOC-TV reported.
Marshall was part of six different campaigns as a staff sergeant in the Army's 135th Division, according to the station. In one instance, he took over a platoon under heavy fire and helped fight off three direct German attacks.
Marshall spoke little of the war after returning to his family in the U.S.
"A lot of these guys don't want to talk about their brave actions during the war, so they just let it go," Dan Sadvary, who runs a veterans' honor group, told WSOC.