Cornelis Verwey was recognized Monday morning by his home country, the Netherlands, in a special ceremony at his retirement home in Kelowna.
The 90-year-old Kelowna man received a medal for being wounded in action.
“Those people served our country, they fought for us and Mr. Verwey got wounded for us 70 years ago,” Ton Linssen, who represents the Dutch embassy, said.
Verwey was wounded while serving with the Netherlands Armed Forces in Indonesia in 1946.
He was driving a convoy truck when it was attacked and took a bullet to his spine, an injury that nearly cost him his life,
“By the time he got to the hospital they were actually already starting to build his coffin,” his daughter Helen Verwey said.
Verwey spent nine months recovering in hospital in Indonesia before being transported back to the Netherlands.
There, he spent another two months in hospital.
Verwey underwent three major surgeries, sustained nerve damage and has suffered chronic pain since the injury.
He told Global News that it’s an honour to receive the medal.
Verwey added that even though he sustained the wound 70 years ago, he’s reminded of it every day because he still has scars and can feel pain to this day.