103-year-old WWII veteran finally gets the recognition he deserves

Veteran finally awarded medals

Reading, Massachusetts — At 103, Peter Fantasia has spent his life thinking of himself as an ordinary American. But one terrifying night in France in 1944, when the young Army medic crouched down in a foxhole as German artillery shells fell around him, he proved to be anything but ordinary.

"God said 'Peter, do your job.' So my feet take me the hell out of my hole. I went from one hole here, gave them medicine, a shot, bandages," Fantasia said.

It's not clear how many lives he saved that night. The next day, the Germans captured him and he spent the next six months as a prisoner of war.

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Peter Fantasia from his time in the Army. Family photo

His family was surprised to learn that in addition to a Silver Star for valor, Fantasia was entitled to eight other medals that he'd never received.

"What he did in his life before us, it's...it's...breathtaking," said his daughter, Martha Mesiti.

So last Monday, Technician Third Grade Peter Fantasia was finally given the honors he deserves, including the Bronze Star. But he still doesn't know what all the fuss is about.

"God took care of me. He made me do the job. That's it," he said. 

His kids said, if you ask this father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather of what he's proudest of, it's one thing: Family.