WESTVILLE, NJ (CBS) – A terminally ill Vietnam veteran was honored for his service on Monday, nearly 50 years after he was sent to war.

Robert “Harvey” Gsell, a Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice patient suffering from Stage 4 lung cancer, was presented with the Military Service Medal in front of close family and friends inside his home in Westville, NJ. He also received a special “Samaritan Cares for Vets” certificate and pin thanking him for his service.

Gsell, who enlisted in the Army in 1963 and was sent to Vietnam in 1965, survived three battles during his 12-month tour, including one of the first of the war, the Battle of Ia Drang. He and his wife, Geri, recently celebrated 40 years of marriage.

Gsell was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in 1999, but he has been getting sustenance from a feeding tube ever since. Recently, he was told he has less than six months to live and has been receiving care from Samaritan.

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