By Tim Jimenez

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A World War II veteran is spending his Memorial Day at the National Guard Armory in Plymouth Meeting, honoring the fallen and sharing his stories about his service that took him from Fort Indiantown Gap in Pennsylvania to Africa and Italy.

Ninety-seven-year-old Dan Paciello enjoys recounting his experiences in the military with anyone who wants to talk. Whether it’s the kids in his family or the guy who just fixed his air conditioner.

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“He needs to read more history, this boy,” he said.

(credit: Tim Jimenez)

Paciello’s roots are in Norristown, and many of the boys he grew up with decided to join the National Guard.

“There was about 17, 18 of us that lived in that one area on Airy Street,” Paciello said. “When the war escalated. Some of them went this way and that way for the good of the country.”

But Paciello had his sights set on the Air Corps. He got in and served in World War II, first in Africa then in Italy. His mindset was shared by so many.

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“Most of us wanted to get this job done,” he said. “We didn’t want to live under the fascist government and stuff like that.”

The mission accomplished, Paciello was able to go home. He knows many weren’t able to make it and he remembers them.

“There was quite a few of them that I knew that didn’t get back,” Paciello said. “Sometimes I say, well ‘How can I be here?'”

He also knew many who returned but were neglected.

“They never got any help at all,” he said. “They needed something.”

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So Paciello’s message: take care of the veterans who live in our communities.