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Veterans Recognized Aboard USS Sampson (DDG 102)
PORTLAND, Ore. (NNS) -- Thirty World War II era veterans were recognized during an award ceremony held aboard the guided-missile destroyer, USS Sampson (DDG 102) in Portland, Ore., June 5.

United States Congressman David Wu individually thanked each veteran in attendance and presented awards for their service.

"While it is a privilege for me to be here with you today and an honor to present you with the Congressional Certificate of Special Recognition, it is also a time to learn more about your specific contributions," said Wu. "While this is only the second year we have given out this award, my staff and I are in awe with the stories and memories you have shared; stories of heroism both on and off the battlefield, stories of friendship and shared sacrifice, stories of selflessness and patriotism."

American Legion Post 124, a volunteer honor guard group of six veterans who were also recognized and awarded, presented colors for the event.

"It's truly an honor to be able to do this for the men that sacrificed for our country," said Fred Meyer, 1st vice commander, Post 124 and World War II era Air Force veteran. We're happy to be here and appreciate every opportunity we get to serve as honor guard for these kinds of events."

"Anytime we get the chance to thank our veterans and learn from their experience we should most definitely take that opportunity," said Master Chief Fire Controlman (SW/AW) John Schwanke, 3rd Fleet's senior enlisted leader.

The veterans in attendance thanked Wu for the award and the friends and families in attendance, but for one humble veteran the opportunity to serve his country was more than enough.

"I am thankful to our congressman for recognizing us, but I'm not sure if I deserve any award. I was just doing what I thought needed to be done," said Albert Todd, a U.S. Navy veteran who served during both World War II and the Korean War. "I'm more than happy to have had the opportunity to fight for my country."

The ceremony concluded with not only a round of applause for the veterans and active duty service members but Wu also took time to recognize spouses and family members.

"As we speak of your service, we must also speak of your families; the husbands, wives, parents and children who also made the sacrifices that come with serving abroad. Thank You. You supported our service members before, during, and after their commitments, and continue to make America a country worth protecting," said Wu.

USS Sampson (DDG 102) is currently moored in Portland for the annual Fleet Week and Rose Festival.
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