MIAMI, AZ - A half a century after going above and beyond the call of duty, an Arizona veteran is finally getting recognized.
Manuel Mendoza was drafted in 1942 and was proud to wear the military uniform.
"He loved the army. He was very proud," said Alice Mendoza, his wife.
On October 4, 1944 while Mendoza was in Italy he suffered gunshot wounds to his arm and leg. However, despite being injured, he single-handedly fought off a German counterattack and saved a nearby town.
"When I began to understand what he did. I started to understand his character," said Sylvia Nandin, Mendoza’s daughter.
He always held a strong love for family and his Country, until passing in 2001.
The nation he protected finally honored Mendoza with the Medal of Honor. His wife, Alice, traveled to the Washington D.C. to accept it.
Now the town Mendoza grew up in is also honoring this war hero.
"It think it represents vets as a whole. Veterans showed a lot of sacrifice,” said Nandin.
Mendoza served in World War II, Korea, then the National guard.