PITTSTON, Pa. -- A World War II veteran in Luzerne County received an early birthday present Sunday: the medals he earned while serving in the Army more than 70 years ago.
And his family was right by his side.
Charles Landis sat and listened while each of his medals from World War II was described.
Landis was a technical sergeant in the US Army and landed in Ireland all those years ago. When he was discharged, his daughter says for whatever reason, the medals were not claimed.
"He will enjoy them. We will celebrate with him, but I can imagine these are things he'll pass onto his 10 great-grandchildren. Someday they'll say these are the medals my grandfather got in World War II," said Sister Sara Landis, Charles' daughter.
At Meyers Manor in Pittston, the Landis family came together to celebrate and also to mark what was a special sacrifice made by their father and great-grandfather, almost 95 now, and finally getting the medals he earned.
"He wasn't thinking about the history it would make. He was doing his duty. He was doing things other people were doing. It was part of their ethic to serve in the war," said his daughter Maria Dorton.
"I think they're pretty cool, being in the Army, getting medals, and helping the country," said great-grandson Jack Stahl.
But ask Charles Landis what makes this special, and he'll tell you it's his family by his side.
"I appreciate my gang getting together today. We're always a strong force. This is one example of it, a likable experience," said Landis.
Now that he has his medals, Landis and his family can use them to remember what was done so long ago for many years to come.
"We're all equal. We did what we had to do. Others did what they had to do. That's the way it was," Landis said.
"I anticipate we'll learn even more things as his memory's awakened. It's not only special to him but special to us," Sister Sara Landis added.
Landis's son went to Congressman Matt Cartwright's office, which then helped make sure the World War II veteran received those medals.