98-year-old WWII vet gets big surprise (VIDEO)

When chief selects from the Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center learned that 98-year-old World War II veteran Ernest Thompson was no longer able to visit the USS Iowa like he had regularly done for years, they decided to bring the ship to him, of sorts.

Thompson was serving aboard the USS Tennessee when Pearl Harbor was attacked. He then went on to serve aboard the USS Missouri, the sister ship to the USS Iowa, where he was still aboard when Japan surrendered.

Thompson regularly visited the USS Iowa, but with declining health wasn’t able to get out as he once was. Last week, however, as he sat on the porch of his Gardenia, California, home, the chief selects marched up the street in front of his home and sang “Anchors Aweigh.” Thompson was elated by the gesture and stood at attention on his front porch, despite previously not being able to stand or walk after a fall earlier this year.

The chief selects, one by one, then shook Thompson’s hand and presented him with a plaque made from wood of the USS Iowa.

Thompson said the whole thing was “quite impressive” and he enjoyed it very much.

[ CNN ]