VALLEJO (KCBS) – A special ceremony was held Thursday on board a World War II era ship at Mare Island, to award a Vietnam veteran his long overdue service medals.

North Bay Congressman Mike Thompson said 70-year-old Warlito Moises from Vallejo reached out to him last year, for help getting medals due to him from the Department of Defense in 1966.

“It wasn’t of interest to him at the time and it became a backburner issue,” Thompson said. “But now he wanted the medals and he came to us to help him run down his medals and we were able to do it.”

Moises received the medals on board the USS 102, a World War II ship docked at Mare Island.

“You know, it’s better late then never,” Moises said.

Rep. Thompson awarded Moises the National Defense Service Ribbon, Vietnam Service Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, and Combat Action Ribbon. He was part of a unit that built a 10,000 foot runway in Vietnam.

“They also sent me down to the southern part of Vietnam to drill some water wells, for the troops to drink,” Moises said.

Bureaucratic obstacles stopped many veterans from receiving their medals. But Moises said he’s not angry, just honored to finally receive his. “Thank you, thank you, I really appreciate this.”

Moises was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Vallejo in 1958. He joined the Navy in 1963 and was sent to Vietnam in 1966. After returning from Vietnam, he joined the U.S. Navy Reserve and served as a policeman at Mare Island Naval Shipyard until it closed in 1994.