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Sgt. James Barker served in the Berlin airlift and the Korean conflict, but he was never honored for his six years of service when he worked as an aircraft mechanic in the late 1940s. NBC Miami's Sharon Lawson reports.
After more than 50 years, Sgt. James Barker is now a decorated war veteran.
"I'm overwhelmed," Barker told NBC Miami. “It is a thrill for me to get this.”
Barker served in the Berlin airlift and the Korean conflict, but he was never honored for his six years of service when he worked as an aircraft mechanic in the late 1940s.
"It was a great effort by this country at that time, to do something for people, and I think we should do more of it," Barker said.
During a special tribute Friday morning in Miami, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen presented Sgt. Barker with a series of medals which included the U.S. Air Force Good Conduct, National Defense Service and Army Occupation.
He also received an American flag that was once flown over the U.S. capital.
Barker’s black and white photos and military ID are poignant memories of his role in the largest humanitarian campaign in the world.
"It was a time of my life I don't regret, and as they say, ‘I would do it again,’ because I love this country so much, and it was an honor to serve it," Barker said.