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SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – Vietnam War veteran Michael Kreps spent over 1600 hours in the air as a helicopter pilot in south Vietnam from 1869 to 1971.

Recently, back on land — or ice rather, with his service dog by his side, he received a big thank you from the Florida Panthers and their fans.

Michel was drafted into the U.S. Army back in 1969.

He didn’t know what to expect and may not have been enthusiastic about going but he went through with his duty and hoped for the best.

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Deployed overseas, he witnessed a lot of action in South Vietnam where he and his troops provided heavy combat support, rescuing US soldiers that were trapped during the war.

Making it out alive after those few years is something he is now forever grateful for.

Vietnam War Veteran Michael Kreps is honored by the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL. (Source: CBS4)

“The honor that makes me most proud is that I did my service,” Kreps said. “I did my time without rebellion, without judgement, and I came home healthy and well and I’m very thankful for that.”

The overwhelming standing ovation at the BB&T center was a touching moment for Kreps, his family, and his golden retriever.

A Vietnam veteran that is still standing today, awarded Army commendation, a bronze star and a purple heart; that’s what heroes are made of.

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On behalf of CBS4 and the Florida Panthers, we’d like to thank you for your service, Michael.