Billy Thomas, an 85-year-old WWII veteran who graduated from the Citadel in 1945, was honored for his service in a ceremony at Belin United Methodist Church in Murrells Inlet on Wednesday morning.
Mr. Thomas was presented with several awards, including the WWII Victory Medal and certificate, signed by Governor Haley, and letters signed by Rep. Tom Rice and Senator Tim Scott.
"I don't mind being a figurehead for the people I am representing, my era, 16 million people who served in World War 2, over 400, 000 who died in World War 2," Thomas explained.
More than 50 people came to honor Mr. Thomas in the ceremony, which lasted about 30 minutes.
"It was emotional from the time the first one walked in, a lot of my Citadel people, a lot of my Church here."
It was especially emotional considering just a few months earlier, Thomas was hospitalized and unable to attend an earlier ceremony.
"I don't know that I would have come through what I've been through in the last few months if it hadn't been for the support of my Belin Methodist Church. I can't say enough about that," Thomas added.
Even as a man who's been through so much, Thomas says for everything he has, he's thankful.
"We all go through different battles in our lives, and it's the people that we serve with, and it's our God that brings us through it."