DORENA, Ore. -- 92-year-old Joseph Giesel will be receiving the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation's highest civilan honor in a ceremony in Washington D.C. this week.
President Obama signed a legislative bill to award more than 20,000 African American marines this honor. These marines trained at a segregated facility called Montford Point in North Carolina during World War II.
In 1944, Giesel trained the marines from the 5th Ammunition Company at Montford Point before they were stationed in Hawaii. The marines were mainly responsible for ammunition and supply duty.
"It was a good group. They worked hard. As a matter of fact, when you put more work for them, they worked harder," said Giesel.
Through it all, Giesel says he treated and respected them like any other marine. "I was very thankful to be able to be in the situation to help them out. THey have done a wonderful job," said Giesel.
Giesel will be honored in a ceremony on Wednesday in Washington D.C.