It took Jerry Woodward nearly 5 years to receive his Purple Heart, and it arrived just 11 days short of the 64th anniversary of his injury.

Woodward served on the U.S.S. Selfridge DD-357 during World War II. When his ship was attacked by Japanese torpedoes on October 6th, 1943, he was directly in the line of fire.

"The ship was torpedoed and the bow was blown off. I was thrown off in the process. I was looking out on the highest man station on the ship," Woodward said. "I could see the thing coming and there was no way we were not going to be hit."

Woodward was injured as a result of the hit, but didn't think much about getting his medal until a few years ago.

"I didn't really try and get it for years and years and then I got to thinking I might like to have it to pass on to my kids and grandkids."

The Purple Heart is given to those who have been wounded or killed while serving with the U.S. military.

When Woodward began inquiring about his medal, he was faced with dilemma and delay.

"When I first tried to get it, they stalled and fooled around and I had to get two letters from shipmates that had been on the ship at the time, and saw me get wounded," Woodward said. "It took me about a year and half to get those, and then they told me I had to wait a year."

His first certificate came last January, but he would wait several months to actually hold the medal in his hand.

"When I called them about the medal, they said that their records showed I already had it, so I told them, 'I have the certificate, not the medal.' Well, they checked it and sure enough, it came in the mail the next day. It took five years of trying to get this thing accomplished, but now I'm happy as a clam."