ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Seventy-six years after returning from serving in France during World War II. An Albuquerque veteran is being awarded a prestigious medal from the French government.

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Staff Sergeant Duane K. Harvey has received a number of awards for his service during World War II. “I’ve received different awards from Belgium, and also Holland,” Sgt. Harvey said.

Thursday morning, he received another. During a Veterans Day ceremony at Albuquerque Meadows, a member of the French Consulate presented Harvey with the Chevalier Class of the Legion for his service to France during the Alsace Campaign in World War II. He served as a paratrooper.

The Class of the Legion is equivalent to the U.S. Bronze Star. Despite the honor, Harvey, a father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, says he’s just like everyone else. “I lived a very ordinary life, raised a family,” Harvey said.

After serving three years in the army, Harvey got a geology degree from the University of Kansas, where he met his wife. They got married in 1947, spending the next 50 years together, before she died.

He moved to Albuquerque shortly after and has been here for 20 years. “I like the weather, I don’t have to mow the grass, I don’t have to shovel snow,” Harvey said.

Thursday morning, all three of his kids were at the ceremony, watching as their dad received an award they knew he deserved. Harvey will celebrate his 97th birthday next month.