WWII Army veteran Irwin Ward recognized for military service at special on-field ceremony with his favorite team, the L.A. Rams

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LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Army veteran Irvin Ward has seen a lot during his 99 years. Along with his decorated service during World War II, he’s been a devoted husband and father… and longtime L.A. Rams fan!

Ward was just 18 years old when he enlisted in the Army Air Corps during World War II. It was two months after the one year anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor. It took Ward 30 days to get to Guam by boat from Seattle where he was stationed.

“It was during wartime so we had to be alert every dawn and dusk for submarines, enemy submarines. We went very slow,” Ward remembered.

Ward’s dreams of becoming a pilot never became a reality but he was assigned to work as an airplane mechanic for a B-29 bomber named “So Sorry II”.

“That airplane flew 17 combat missions over Japan, and I was on Guam when they dropped the Atomic bombs from Tinian. I was on Guam when they signed the treaty,” Ward said.

When he came home Ward graduated from Indiana University, moved to California and met the love of his life, Harriet. The two were married for 62 years and had three children. “My biggest legacy is my family,” he said.

This year, the WWII veteran returned to Guam where he was honored.

In addition, he was recently recognized by his favorite NFL team, the LA Rams, as their hero of the week. Ward said, “Guam and being recognized by the Rams at that event were two of the highlights that I’ll ever have in my life.”

His son, Adam Ward, was by his side during the tribute.

“That was a surreal moment for me to stand a few feet away from him and watch him look up at the crowd, 70,000 people, standing,” Adam said. “It gave me, I don’t know what you call beyond goosebumps.”

At one point Ward was one of the Ram’s largest buyers of season tickets.

“We could purchase a Rams season tickets, hold onto your hat, for $28,” he said. “So, we purchased over 100 Rams season tickets.”

Today Ward stays active playing Bridge and fantasy football. His advice to others: find something you love and live in the moment.

“If you can accept the time and environment that you’re in; and be happy, then you’re going to have a good life,” Ward said.

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