There are less than 900,000 U.S. World War II veterans still alive, according to the National World War II Museum. Unfortunately some of those veterans have not received their medals for service during the war.
But with Veterans Day just a few days away, one well-known Arlington pastor finally received his medals after earning them more than 70 years ago.
The Bible psalm Ephesians 5:8 reads: "For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord." For Senior Pastor Norman Robinson, he found that light 71 years ago.
"One day I looked life right in the face and said if one of them bullets hit my heart, I don’t have a relationship with God. And I swore if He let me live a few more days, I would get it right. And I got it right and I’ve been at it right ever since," said Robinson.
Then-Staff Sgt. Robinson was just 23 when he served in the U.S. Army Air Force in Guadalcanal and later in Okinawa in the Pacific Theater.
"I'm grateful to be alive. I can see the hand of God carry me through so much danger and carry me home," said Robinson.
For the last 49 years, Robinson has led Mount Olive Baptist Church, growing it from 17 members to as many as 12,000.
"He's a pillar here in the Arlington community and has done so much," said State Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX 33rd District).
Robinson's name is on the church as well as the street outside the church, but his service overseas has never seen such an honor until Sunday morning.
Veasey helped Robinson get his World War II Service Medal, Bronze Star and Victory Medal.
"For me to be able to help soldiers like Pastor Robinson, that especially means a lot to me," Veasey said.
At age 94, Robinson's war memories are still quite fresh in mind, like the day he arrived at Guadalcanal. He was sick and taken to the medical tent, which was later bombed and the fight continued in the morning when Robinson woke up.
"Today I know what the password was, it was Christmas," Robinson said. "I never said Christmas so many times, every time someone draw one of those gun barrels, I would say, Christmas!"
Robinson is thankful to be alive, to God and to those who've honored him.
"Today I feel so lifted up, to know that we live in America where people are grateful," Robinson said.
A grateful nation honoring its greatest generation no matter how long it takes.
Veasey said his office is more than willing to help veterans get the medals they deserve, especially those who served in World War II and the Korean War.