MONROE, NC (WBTV) - Elton Hubbard had no idea why a group of about 10 men were crowded into his carport Thursday morning. He thought they might have possibly been there for his birthday, but there was no cake.
Instead, two of the men held envelopes and a bag. Inside, was something 1st Sergeant Hubbard has been waiting for, for 70 years.
"This, to my knowledge is the highest honor a citizen of the great state of North Carolina can receive, the order of the long leaf pine," said a retired Army general that showed up for the occasion. The General handed "Hub" and award signed by Governor Bev Perdue.
Hub served in World War Two, then the Korean Conflict, the proceeded to enlist in the North Carolina National Guard. Seems he just couldn't get enough of serving his country.
On Thursday, which also happens to be his 95th birthday, Hub got the award from the governor, and a plaque from all his National Guard buddies. It said "Happy 95th Birthday Hub".
The exchange was over in a matter of minutes. Then, the old war buddies sat around chatting like old war buddies will do. One by one, the men left. Each wishing Hub a happy birthday with a firm handshake.
After a while, all that was left was a smiling veteran who finally got his due.