Veterans

August 29, 2018
 

94 year-old vet receives World War II Medals after 72 years

PO2 Jonathan Jiang
Louisville, Ky.

A 94-year old World War II veteran received his long overdue medals during a ceremony at the Louisville Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Louisville, Ky., Aug. 23, 2018.

Rear Adm. Michael Jabaley, former Program Executive Officer for Submarines, awarded William Edward Gilbert, a Kentucky native, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal and American Campaign Medal during Louisville Navy Week.

In his opening speech, Jabaley spoke about the importance of honoring our surviving World War II veterans.

“There are not many of them left and the ones that are, we need to treasure, and we need to take every opportunity to make sure they get the recognition that they so richly deserve,” said Jabaley.

Gilbert was drafted into the U.S. Navy from January 6, 1943, until his honorable discharge in January 11, 1946. He served as a Steward’s Mate aboard the South Dakota-class battleship USS Indiana (BB 58) in the Pacific Theater, earning the medals he would receive 72 years later.

“He put in a lot of work,” said Bruce Coleman, Gilbert’s son. “I feel really good that they finally recognized him as a veteran.”

VA psychologist, Gina Salisbury, learned about the issue on her initial visit with Gilbert and helped him take action. Salisbury consulted with VA geriatrics and extended care social worker, Tina Strobel, who worked with the National Archives to retrieve the medals.

“It’s probably the coolest day at the VA that I’ve ever had, and I’ve worked here for over 10 years,” said Salisbury. “It just really makes my job meaningful, being able to give back to veterans that have served our country.”

Friends and family were at the ceremony to share in this moment, including his son, Bruce and daughter-in-law, Wanda.

“I’m overjoyed,” said Wanda. “I wish all my children could’ve been here to witness this. I wish that everybody that I know could witness this. I’m just overjoyed.”

After the awards, Gilbert addressed the audience, expressing his feelings at finally receiving the medals and the value of perseverance.

“Never give up,” said Gilbert.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
navy-queen-elizabeth2

Future USS Michael Monsoor, HMS Queen Elizabeth conduct PHOTOEX

Navy photograph by PO1 John Philip Wagner Jr. Capt. Scott M. Smith, commanding officer of Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) communicates with the British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) via hand...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

NASA’s Quiet Supersonic Technology project passes major milestone

Lockheed Martin photograph Illustration of the X-59 QueSST as it flies above NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California. NASA has officially committed to a development timeline that will lead to the first fligh...
 
 

GA-ASI to provide RPAs to Australian Defence Force

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. has been advised that, following consideration by the Australian Government, it has been selected to provide the Armed Remotely Piloted Aircraft System under Project Air 7003 for the Australian Defence Force. “We look forward to providing our world-leading RPAS to meet the Air 7003 requirements,” said Linden Blue, CEO of...