MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - William Bregman was 20 years old when he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard.
"I was young then," he joked.
Now, more than 70 years after serving in World War II, Bregman is getting the recognition he deserves.
Bregman, 92, contacted U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-Fla., in November, asking for any awards he earned during his service.
"I wrote letters and I called and no effect," Bregman said. "My dear Congress lady took care of it quickly."
What Bregman didn't know is that he'd earn 10 ribbons and medals.
"I didn't expect that many," he said.
During a special ceremony Wednesday at Miami Beach Senior High School, Bregman was presented those awards one by one and honored for his military service.
"I'm not used to this stuff," he said.
Bregman showed Local 10 photographs of the ship on which he served. It was struck by a torpedo and 34 crewmen died, including his dear friend.
"My buddy on the ship was one of the men (who) was killed in the war," Bregman recalled. "I still feel for him."
Bregman said he has special plans for the medals he's earned.
"I'm going to give these to my grandson, who I feel very close to," he said.
Copyright 2014 by Local10.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.