DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A 93-year-old World War II veteran has finally been given a medal he won at the 1944 Drake Relays track meet.
The Des Moines Register reports that Ted Williams, of Altoona, had finished second in the discus among high school boys while competing for Knoxville High School. But because of wartime metal rationing, he was given only a certificate that could be redeemed for a medal after the war.
Less than two months later Williams joined the Marines and eventually served in the Pacific theater. After the war he married and became a history teacher and coach.
The certificate remained stuffed away in his home until his birthday Thursday, when he received a medal from Drake University in a surprise ceremony staged by his friends in a coffee group.
He was grateful for the acknowledgment of his accomplishment, saying, “This is a very, very important thing to me.”