COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (CBS4) – It took several decades but an American hero in Commerce City has finally been recognized.

Army Sgt. Alfred Hurtado served in Europe during World War II. In 1943 he was severely injured and placed with wounded German prisoners by accident. His fellow soldiers thought he had died.

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On Saturday the chairman of the Forgotten Heroes campaign presented Hurtado with three Purple Hearts, a Combat Infantryman Badge, and nine other medals.

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“I thank each and every one of you, and I appreciate all these little kids, that’s what I fought for,” Hurtado said to the gathering.

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Hurtado completed four combat jumps between 1943 and 1944. He also just celebrated his 90th birthday.