93-year-old N.J. man receives military honors 70 years after service

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Watch the report from Action News at 4 p.m. on June 27, 2017. (WPVI)

Military honors seven decades in the making were bestowed upon a pretty special, storied retired member of the Coast Guard.

93-year-old Nicholas Catanella served in the Coast Guard 70 years ago, when he was in his 20s.

On Tuesday, Catanella was presented with medals he earned during his time in the service.

Among others, he was presented with the Combat Action Ribbon, Honorable Discharge and Honorable Service Pins, and the World War II Victory Medal.

The paperwork was held up for years, but after all these years and a push to retrieve them, New Jersey State Representative Tom MacArthur paid a visit to Catanella at Lutheran Crossing enhanced living in Moorestown for the reunion.

"Wonderful. I didn't think I was going to get anything like that. It's wonderful. Thanks all of the people coming and thank you for helping me - thank you," said Catanella.

"He at least has received his medals," said his daughter, Georgeanne Catanella. "He has been waiting approximately 70 years for them. And it's the kindness of friends that have made this come true for my father at long last."

His daughter credits them for keeping the campaign going to get the military to send them.

Many in South Jersey are very familiar with Catanella.

He was a hairdresser who owned a salon there for 65 years.
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