April 16, 2018 10:33 pm
Updated: April 17, 2018 12:52 am

At 97, a WWII veteran finally receives medals he didn’t know he earned over 70 years ago

A World War II veteran is finally getting the recognition he deserves, seven decades after he served his country. Aaron McArthur reports.

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It’s been more than 70 years since Michael Springford served his country.

Springford volunteered for the navy in 1939 and served five years on the waters of the North Atlantic.

“When Michael came back home, unbeknownst to him he had actually earned a couple of medals,” Capt. Mark Adams of the Air Force Reserve said.

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Adams said it wasn’t unusual for Second World War veterans to be unaware of honours they received.

After the war, many vets moved around and were difficult to track down.

Many veterans, like Springford, also didn’t talk much about their time overseas once they returned home.

Volunteers at East Vancouver’s Veterans Memorial Manor, where Springford now lives, worked with Veterans Affairs to see if he was eligible for any honours.

READ MORE: At 99 years old, WWII pilot still remembers what 31 POWs said after he saved them

They learned that Springford, who turns 98 years old next month, was entitled to two medals.

One of the medals recognize that he volunteered to serve during the war.

Veterans Affairs took just three months to process a request for them. Given his age, Springford was pushed to the top of the list.

Springford was awarded the medals at Veterans Memorial Manor on Monday.

He was not up to attend the ceremony, but family members accepted the honours on his behalf.

“It means a lot to us as Canadians to recognize those people, even if they’re too humble to want it,” Adams said.

With or without his medals, Springford served his country with pride.

Now, 73 years later, Canadians can say thank you.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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