PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Paul Krinock was just 18 years old when he was drafted and sent off to fight in World War II.

Now, at 89, he will serve as the grand marshal for Latrobe’s annual 4th of July parade.

READ MORE: Peregrine Falcon Released Into The Wild In Butler County After Recovering From Head And Spine Injury

“Oh it’s really an honor,” he said. “I can’t get over it. All these years later. I was drafted in 1944 and now I’m finally being recognized after 70 years.”

During the war, Krinock was an automatic rifleman who helped save a dozen of his fellow soldiers.

READ MORE: Hacker Sentenced To 7 Years In Prison For Stealing Personal Information Of UPMC Employees

“They said just keep firing because 12 guys are trapped, see if they can get out,” he recalled.

Krinock helped them get to safety even after suffering a leg wound. He received a Purple Heart and Silver Star. Now he has the honor of being Grand Marshal, something he wishes his wife was here to see.

“I’d like to have my wife with me,” he said. “It will be two years since she passed away. She passed away on July 29. I wish she could see what I was being recognized for.”

MORE NEWS: Police: Armed Bystander Intervened In Shooting At Park City Center Mall In Lancaster, Shot Suspect

Join The Conversation On The KDKA Facebook Page
Stay Up To Date, Follow KDKA On Twitter