World War II veteran receives his medals in surprise ceremony - New York News

World War II veteran finally receives his medals in surprise ceremony

Posted: Updated:

TEWKSBURY, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- A World War II veteran from Tewksbury received some very special surprise recognition for his service Saturday.

Dick Holland Sr. never received the medals he earned while serving as a torpedo bomber pilot in the South Pacific.

"We were anxious to get home," Holland told FOX 25. " We'd been there almost 2 1/2 years, we were anxious to get home. We were happy it was over."

The lieutenant commander in the Navy Reserve was so happy that he never got his medals. He went on to marry his sweetheart and raise a family. Thanks to his children and grandchildren, the 91-year-old finally received his awards.

Inside his home Saturday, Holland received the American Campaign medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign medal, and the Philippine Liberation Medal, along with a special proclamation from the state House of Representatives and a certificate of appreciation from the Navy.

Holland joked that his children ought to be ashamed of themselves for coordinating such a wonderful surprise. He said he is the luckiest guy around.

"It was a dirty trick," Holland said of the surprise. "They didn't tell me anything about it. I didn't even know those medals were around."

The 91-year-old's grandson, Commander Michael Holland of the U.S. Navy, explained why the family decided to put together the event.

"All the inspiration he's given us over the years, the stories, and it's his right, it's what he deserves," said Michael.

Dick inspired a legacy of service in the Holland family. His son was a Marine in Vietnam, his granddaughter is a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army.

After his service in World War II, Dick was a Naval flight instructor based in Weymouth. Michael Holland said it was Dick's military and civilian career, as well as his commitment, courage, and greatness that inspired the family.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Port Authority tells store to drop 9/11 items

    Port Authority tells store to drop 9/11 items

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:03 AM EDT2014-07-29 11:03:21 GMT
    A well-known Manhattan housewares store has been ordered to stop selling merchandise associated with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The agency says Fishs Eddy is "unfairly reaping" a benefit from an association with the Port Authority. It singled out dinnerware items decorated with depictions of the twin towers, the new World Trade Center and Lincoln and Holland tunnels, all labeled with the Port Authority's name.
    A well-known Manhattan housewares store has been ordered to stop selling merchandise associated with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The agency says Fishs Eddy is "unfairly reaping" a benefit from an association with the Port Authority. It singled out dinnerware items decorated with depictions of the twin towers, the new World Trade Center and Lincoln and Holland tunnels, all labeled with the Port Authority's name.
  • Scenes for "Girls" to be shot as SUNY New Paltz

    Scenes for "Girls" to be shot as SUNY New Paltz

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:13 AM EDT2014-07-29 10:13:09 GMT
    Some scenes for the HBO series "Girls" will be shot at the State University of New York at New Paltz.  The series star and creator Lena Dunham will reportedly be directing scenes Tuesday afternoon on the campus 75 miles north of New York City.
    Some scenes for the HBO series "Girls" will be shot at the State University of New York at New Paltz.  The series star and creator Lena Dunham will reportedly be directing scenes Tuesday afternoon on the campus 75 miles north of New York City.
  • Pregnant woman says officer put her in choke hold

    Pregnant woman says officer put her in choke hold

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:57 AM EDT2014-07-29 09:57:51 GMT
    Back from vacation, Mayor Bill de Blasio is addressing the allegations of police choke holds. Standing next to his police commissioner and standing by him, de Blasio declared police community relations will improve by Bill Bratton's call for retraining of officers. The mayor did say that police choke holds are not acceptable.
    Back from vacation, Mayor Bill de Blasio is addressing the allegations of police choke holds. Standing next to his police commissioner and standing by him, de Blasio declared police community relations will improve by Bill Bratton's call for retraining of officers. The mayor did say that police choke holds are not acceptable.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices