San Benito veteran gets commendation 67 years later

At 88-years-old, Arthur Nowakowski was barely able to hold back his emotions during his commendation ceremony at the Fun and Sun RV Park in San Benito.

The ceremony has been 67 years in the making and started back in 1944, in the backdrop of World War II.

Techinal Sgt. Nowakowski, the son of two Polish immigrants, served with the U.S. Army in France.

"M grandpa has gotten the Silver Star award but he's never known why he got it, his grandson Jason Britch told Action 4 News. And it TMs taken years and for him to finally get it. It TMs an extreme honor, not just only to us, for him, it TMs unbelievable."

Nowakowski settled in San Benito after the war and was awarded the Silver Star medal, but no commendation.

He and his family spent many years searching for the reason he was awarded the prestigious honor, but their search came empty handed.

Until recently, another group was able to get them in touch with the office of U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold in Brownsville.

Finally, after 67 years waiting, Nowakowski received his answer.

"His gallantry aided in saving the lives of three men and was in accordance with high military tradition," Congressman Farenthold told the audience during the ceremony.

Back in 1944, Nowakowski risked his life to save three other wounded soldiers, bringing them to safety and staying with them until help arrived.

But he said he was just doing his job.

"Just happened that I was in the right place at the right time and somebody saw me do what they gave me a medal for," he said.

But ask any of his family members, and they are quick to point out how humble he is.

They say he is their hero.

"He's wanted this for so very long and to finally see him with it, it TMs wonderful," daughter Susan Parker said.

Nowakowski agreed with her, "I can TMt be happier. This has been a great day".