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New Haven WWII vet receives special 99th birthday gifts

NEW HAVEN -- Many Veterans will tell you they prefer not to talk about their service time. But, the daughter of a World War II veteran did her best to make sure her dad knows how much his service is appreciated.​

This Sunday, August 6, Jacob Greenberg, a World War II Army Corporal, turns 99 years old and his daughter wanted it to be special.

"I saw in a very old picture that my father did have some medals, but they got lost over the years," said Janet Greenberg, who is Jacob Greenberg's daughter.

After two months of work, with Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro's  office, Greenberg was presented with replacement medals Friday morning in the Community Room at New Haven's Mary Wade home.

"What our service people endured every single day, on our behalf, can never, ever be forgotten," said DeLauro.

Many patients and residents of the nursing home sang happy birthday to Greenberg during the celebration.

"It's just a very, very small way that I'm trying to show my dad that we appreciate him and that I love him," said Janet Greenberg.

Greenberg, who served from January  of 1942 until January of 1946, had a one special encounter while in the pacific.

"My father had the privilege of meeting (General Douglas) MacArthur on the Lady Island," his daughter said.

But, she said her dad told her that MacArthur "didn't walk around with a pipe and the scarf all the time. It was too hot."

And, while Greenberg is not much to talking about his service time, he did offer several keys to living nearly a century.

"I have a regular schedule, work a regular time and eat proper meals," he said, proudly.

"We are really blessed to have him," his daughter said, as her dad enjoyed his favorite dessert: blueberry pie.

For his service to the nation, Greenberg was presented the following replacement medals:

  • The Good Conduct Medal;
  • The Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, with 3 bronze stars;
  • The World War II Victory Medal;
  • The Antarctica Service Medal;
  • The Philippine Liberation Ribbon;
  • and the Honorable Service Lapel Button for World War II

Greenberg was also awarded the Connecticut Wartime Service Medal, presented to him by DeLauro, on behalf of Commissioner Sean Connelly and the Connecticut Department of Veteran Affairs.