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Homeless World War II veteran gets special honor

You won't meet many 89-year-olds as spry as Henry Dace.

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - You won't meet many 89-year-olds as spry as Henry Dace.

"I feel like I could play football for the Green Bay Packers," he said.

He is a man of many words. Henry will chat your ear off and give you his take on sports.

"I like football," he said.

He even has some words of wisdom.

"Take care of business, you stay in business," he said.

He's even happy to share his stories of service, all the way back to World War II.

"I took basic training first, then technic training, that's going to school," he said.

They say better late than never, so on Monday after all these years, the veteran who served in New Zealand was finally getting a formal thank you.

"It's so powerful for all of us that are a part of this, and especially for a gentleman like this who is challenged by where he lives," Tauna Austin of Lightbridge Hospice said.

It's a challenge because after the short ceremony, Henry won't have a home to go to, no wall to hang that new certificate.

"I keep moving around, you know, that's just my way," he said.

He is one of many homeless veterans in San Diego who been staying at Father Joe's Village, when someone heard his story.

"When we heard about him we thought we couldn't honor a better person," Austin said.

"It's an honor to be present day military member to honor those veterans, because they really paved the way. Not only for us veterans nowadays, but for America," Lightbridge Hospice volunteer Terry Wagner said.

Today is a reminder that this holiday season, think twice before you judge a book by its cover.

"We don't know who's standing on a corner and we should never make assumptions about them," Austin said.

And how something as small as a thank you, can be the perfect Christmas present.

"I think it's wonderful… (I feel) respected," he said.