Samuel Greco served in the Navy during World War II. Between 1942 and 1946 he was a sailor on the USS Saratoga.
Seventy-four years later, for his 95th birthday, Greco was joined by sailors assigned to the Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) Carolina and friends and family. The sailors sang “Anchors Aweigh” and “Happy Birthday” to the veteran in the front yard of his home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
“What a wonderful world this is. How could I ever forget this? Greco said from his second-story room, where he watched the ceremony from. “This is one of the most wonderful things I’ve ever had in my life. I’ll remember it wherever I’m going, for the rest of my eternal life. This has been unprecedented. I never realized this would happen to me. But I’m grateful to him upstairs that he gave me another day and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
According to Navy Recruiting Command, Navy Chief Petty Officer Noel Perry, Petty Officer First Class Sheba Kanjelkheir and Petty Officer First Class Anthony Augustine presented Greco with a command coin and baseball cap on behalf of NTAG Carolina.
“This event honors those who have served in the armed forces as well as building on the relationship between service members and local communities. Mr. Greco served in the Navy more than 60 years ago but NTAG Carolina would be remised to count that time as lost. Sailors hope to honor the time that he and others like him gave to our nation,” NTAG officials said about the event.
Watch this emotional and patriotic birthday in the video below.
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.