MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The photographs, medals and the American flag all have a story.

“I’m happy to reach 100 years. I didn’t expect I would live this long,” said Matthew Philip Giorganella of Milford, who reflects on his life of service as a sailor in the United States Navy.

“I went in as a recruit,” Giorganella said. He served in three wars, the first being World War II.

“There were certain things I didn’t want to do, but I had to. I enjoyed it, really. Out of all the services, I’m glad I picked the Navy,” he explained.

Then, in 1950, he went to Korea and eventually Vietnam, where he only spent a few months before being sent home due to his age.

He is a true patriot, proud to serve his country. The Navy and Marine Corps awarded him with a medal for heroism.

“I saved a couple of men’s lives. They hit an underground rock in the water. They couldn’t swim, so I rushed down to the water, saw them, jumped in, and saved them. No big deal,” he explained.

He is a humble man who has dedicated his life to protecting others. However, he isn’t too she when bragging about boxing.

“Each ship has a boxing team. I was on the cruiser. I didn’t want to box, you know, I never did. So I tried it, and I won the first fight, and all the fights I had, I won them all,” he said.

He spent 37 years and a half in the Navy, which he said is a short time if you enjoy it.

Just ahead of Veterans Day and his big day, from all of us here at News 8, thank you, Matthew Philip Giordanella, for your service and happy 100th birthday!