TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Several local World War II veterans received a big honor Sunday. The French government recognized the vets for serving in its country decades ago.
"I'll cherish this medal," said veteran, Gerald Sherman. Sherman is one of three Southern Arizona vets who on Sunday received the highest honor from the French Government.
Sherman spent just over three months in France serving in the U.S. Army before being wounded.
The French government began recognizing veterans in 2004, but only handed out 100 medals a year. Now, they've broadened it.
"Anybody that served over there during those years, I think are very deserving of it," said veteran, Jim Sullivan.
Family and friends came to Green Valley from all over to watch their loved ones receive the medal of the "knight."
Sherman's daughter flew in from Italy. She surprised him by dressing up as a waitress and taking his breakfast order. It was all caught on video.
"He turns around and realizes at that moment it's me," said Sherman's daughter, Annette Landry. "That look of surprise was priceless."
"I was shocked to see you there," said Sherman. "I thought you were in Italy."
A special recognition on a special day. This father of five has all his kids by his side this Father's Day.
"It's a memory and I'll never forget it," said Sherman.
For him and the two other vets honored today.