MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) — A 92- year old World War II veteran received his long awaited medals on Wednesday for his service in the armed forces.
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) honored William Bregman by presenting him with 10 medals and ribbons, nearly seven decades after leaving the armed forces.
He was joined by his daughter, son-in-law and grandson.
“I feel honored to be in such great company. I am proud to be a “Coastie” and serve all over,” said Bregman.”I feel funny. I am not used to being the center of attraction.”
Two high-ranking members of South Florida’s Coast Guard command were also there to honor Bregman.
The event took place at Miami Beach Senior High School.
Last November Bregman reached out to Congressman Wasserman Schultz to see if she could help him receive the medals and she did.
“This is what public service is all about, helping people like Mr. Bregman who was frustrated and for years was overlooked,” said Rep. Wasserman Schultz.
It was a well deserved recognition he fought so hard to receive and it was all for his grandson.
“My father was in the Navy. All I have is a picture of him in a savior suit. I wanted my grandson to have at least a record. I am 92-years old. I don’t know how long I’ll be living,” said Bregman.
Following the service, Rep. Wasserman Schultz interviewed Bregman along with seven other local veterans for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. It’s an initiative aimed at collecting the stories of those in our community who have served.
Bregman joined the U.S. Coast Guard in 1942 at the age of 20. He participated in escorting other ships into the region.
On one his trips, two blips appeared on the radar. His ship went to investigate and was hit by a torpedo, killing 34 crew members.
Bregman continued to serve in the Coast Guard until his honorable discharge in 1946.