A small piece of paper carries a large meaning to Oscar Rawls.
"In recognition of honorable service during the Korean war," he read aloud.
It is a certificate of appreciation for fighting during the Korean war.
"I will put this on my wall in my bedroom and look at it," he said.
He served in the Navy aboard the U.S.S Essex reading maps to help plot out potential targets for air strikes.
"I looked young then," he said as he pointed out a picture of himself.
Sixty years after the war ended a room full of veterans in Odessa were recognized for their service.
"Thank you so much for your service sir," said Congressman Gus Bilirakis as he handed out the certificates.
The American Legion Squadron Post 147 located on Gunn Highway said they were not going to let the veterans be forgotten after fighting the war often called the forgotten war.
"You can just thank the lord you came back safe and sound," said Hank Binder.
Binder served as a medic in World War II and the Korean war.
He and many of the veterans were humbled.
"You were responsible for a duty and if you do it right you'll always win," said Joe Cody.
Cody served aboard the U.S.S Missouri during the war.
For Rawls the certificate symbolized his actions so long ago.
"It shows what you have accomplished and what you've done for the people of the country," he said.
The very words printed on the paper truly made him feel honored for serving his country.
"The department of defense and people of America and Korea are forever grateful and they are," he read as he chocked back tears.
The post originally planned the even they expected only 100 veterans to show up.
Saturday afternoon they honored more than 300.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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