'I was proud to serve': 100-year-old South Philadelphia veteran, Purple Heart recipient honored for service

MONROE TOWNSHIP, New Jersey (WPVI) -- An assisted living facility in Monroe Township, New Jersey honored 14 of its residents on Veterans Day.

Normally, the family would be on hand for the celebration, but this year they had a virtual ceremony to keep everyone safe and healthy.

One of the residents received special recognition - Domenic Brigandi is a Purple Heart recipient who will turn 101 on December 9.

"I was proud to serve my people here at home and to protect their homes by going into service," said Brigandi.

The South Philadelphia native enlisted in the U.S. Army when he was 22.

He was an Italian language interpreter for General Patton during WW2, and he received a Purple Heart award when he was shot in the spine during combat.

"I'm glad they recognized my achievements," Brigandi says. "Therefore, they honored me with the Purple Heart. That's what I'm proud of."

His secret to the fountain of youth?

"Praise the Lord and keep a song in your heart," he said.

When asked what he wants the young people in our country to know from his more than a century of life and service, Brigandi said, "be a sincere person and thankful person. Respect other people as you respect yourself and keep good friends. Amen."
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