Our military heroes of wars past are national treasures that should be valued as such. So it brings joy to my heart to watch what one group of Naval officers did to recognize and support a 92-year-old Medal of Honor recipient on his birthday.

Capt. Thomas Hudner, a navy carrier pilot during WWII, was surprised to find 50 Chief Petty Officers from the United States Navy on his lawn on the morning of his birthday. The officers had traveled to Hudner's home from their stations on the USS Constitution in Charleston.

Singing "Anchors aweigh" and "Happy Birthday," the sailors brought a smile to Hudner's face and he stood up to salute and shake hands with each of the officers when they were done. After blowing out the candles on his cake, of course.

The naval officers knew what a special honor it was to recognize Hudner's service and heroics and didn't seem to mind going out of their way to salute an old veteran.

"He’s a national treasure, one that should be recognized," said one officer.

Hudner was awarded the Medal of Honor after trying to save the life of his wingman during a battle in WWII. That wingman was Jesse Brown, the first black man to be a pilot on an aircraft carrier. Brown's plane was shot down and Hudner intentionally crashed his plane attempting to rescue his friend. For that act of heroism he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

"He gave his life for an African-American, for another sailor. It’s amazing and I’m honored to have met him, extremely honored," said another officer who was present at the birthday celebration.

What makes the moment even more special is the fact that Hudner had no idea that it was happening. For the military to step up and do something so majestic for someone who risked everything for his friends and country is amazing. Well done, Navy!

h/t: CBS Boston



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