COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (WSAV) — A 107-year-old World War II veteran was awarded a Silver Star by the 3rd Infantry Division.
U.S. Army Soldier Staff Sgt. Harold Nelson fought in WWII from November 1942 to June 1944, according to the Defense Visual Information Distribution Services (DVIDS). The award was approved on June 22 by the Army’s Human Resources Command.
“I appreciate what they have done. It’s a wonderful thing,” Nelson said. “I guess it means I did what I was supposed to do.”
U.S. Army Maj. General Charles Costanza, the 3rd Infantry Division Commanding General, presented Nelson with the award at a ceremony on Fort Carson, Colorado.
”Harold Nelson served our nation with honor and distinction and I am grateful that we could honor his service today,” Costanza said. “It is important to ensure that the service and sacrifice of our Veterans, those whose shoulders we stand upon now, is never overlooked or forgotten. Harold is a Dogface Soldier and I’m proud to call myself one too.”
Nelson was drafted on July 14, 1941, from Fort Crook, Nebraska, DVIDS said. Nelson fought in Northern Africa and then was a part of Operation Husky in Sicily and Operations Avalanche and Shingle in Italy.
Nelson was shot three times and discharged in June 1945. In 2019 he petitioned the Army Board of Corrections of Military Records to decide if he should be awarded, DVIDS said.
The board granted him the star for his combat during WWII and a letter from then-commander, Capt. James Pearman Jr. Nelson’s records were partially destroyed in a 1973 fire at the military records storage facility which created a lack of supporting documents, DVIDS said.
Nelson was also inducted into the Marne Hall of Fame Class of 2022. The 3rd ID’s Marne Hall of Fame recognizes the Dogface Soldiers that left a lasting impact within the organization, DVIDS said.
“This moment means I’ve had a great life, a great family and great friends,” said Nelson. “And a lot of fun throughout the years.”