Published: Jun 17, 2014 5:20 PM EDT
Updated: Jun 17, 2014 6:43 PM EDT

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - A hero who hasn't been on the battlefield for over 70 years got an overdue "thank you" Tuesday morning.

Navy veteran George Hughes was presented with five medals for his service during World War II.

"I enjoyed every minute of it," Hughes said. "It was good. If I had to do it, I'd do it all over again."

After Hughes left the South Pacific in 1945, he settled down with his wife and raised a family.

He said he didn't think much of the lack of recognition.

"It really didn't bother me," Hughes said.  "My daughter wanted to know all about it, so she's the one that got me into it."

Hughes' daughter, who lives in Maryland, tried for a long time to get the medals, with no luck.  Then, she contacted Rep. Tom Rooney (R - Florida).

"For whatever reason, we dropped the ball as a government and didn't get (Hughes) his medals and his recognition," Rooney said.  "We're running out of time with these veterans from World War II, and pretty soon they're going to be gone."

Rooney came to Punta Gorda to present the 91-year-old Hughes, who lives in Port Charlotte, with his medals.

Hughes told WINK News he can't wait to hang the medals on the wall at home.