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89-year-old Korean War veteran waits 70 years to receive Silver Star for courageous acts

Vet gets silver medal
Posted at 6:31 PM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 20:28:26-04

SARASOTA, Fla. — On Wednesday, a Sarasota Korean War veteran received a prestigious military honor that is 70 years overdue. 89-year-old Salvatore Naimo received the Silver Star for his heroic actions during the Korean War.

In 1951, Naimo’s platoon was under attack by Chinese forces. Naimo, carried two injured marines to safety while he was injured himself. Then he proceeded to fight off enemy forces, virtually alone, and stop the enemy from taking over their camp.

"You don’t realize what you’re doing until after it's over, and then somebody tells you what you did and you say, thank God I’m still alive," said Naimo.

Naimo says his commanders were killed just days later so he was never recognized for what he did. For years, marines and friends have been working to get Naimo the recognition he deserves.

"The actions that day really indicate Cpl. Naimo’s character and who he is as an individual and it's really few and far between that you see throughout our armed services," said Col. John Polidoro, U.S. Marine Corps.

On Wednesday, Naimo was finally awarded the Silver Star for his heroic actions in 1951.