He died two years ago, but soon the longest-surviving Pearl Harbor veteran will have a post office named in his honor.
President Trump signed a bill Monday ordering the main post office in Poway, a suburb in San Diego, to bear WWII Navy veteran Ray Chavez’s name, according to NBC News.
Chavez was the last survivor of the bombing of Pearl Harbor when he died at age 106 in 2018.
He joined the Navy in 1938 and was aboard the USS Condor, a minesweeper, before Japan attacked the U.S. in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941, throwing the Americans into WWII, the outlet reported.
Chavez grew up in San Diego and worked as a groundskeeper at the University of California, San Diego after the war. He later started a landscaping business in Poway.
Before his death, Chavez visited the White House to meet President Trump and, days after the meeting, Trump called him an “inspiration to all who are here today and all of our great country,” according to NBC.
After Chavez’s death, the president said, “His legacy is forever etched into our country’s rich history.”
Chavez always felt a close connection to Pearl Harbor and his fellow service members even decades after the war.
“I still feel a loss,” the veteran said during a 2016 ceremony paying tribute to the attack’s 75th anniversary, according to The Hill.
“We were all together. We were friends and brothers. I feel close to all of them.”
Last year, Kathleen Chavez, Chavez’s daughter and fellow Navy veteran, said her father would feel humbled to have a post office named after him.
“I think he’s probably looking down from heaven right now and saying, ‘I don’t know what they’re making such a big deal about.’ He was always so humble about his service in World War II and would probably say, ‘I was just doing my job like everyone else,’” she told the San Diego Union-Tribune.
“But also I think he’d be very pleased and I think he deserves it.”
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