FORT LAUDERDALE-HOLLYWOOD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - A decorated World War II veteran got a hero’s sendoff as he headed to Pittsburgh to celebrate his 97th birthday with family.
Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies were present as Sgt. Mitchel Chockla began his journey from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Tuesday.
Chockla strolled through a crowd of well-wishers as he boarded his flight.
“People haven’t forgotten,” he said.
Chockla fought in North Africa, France and Germany before being wounded.
He has a purple heart, two bronze stars and a combat infantry badge.
“I’m no hero,” said Chockla. “The heroes are still over there. I don’t consider myself a hero.”
Chockla said his most memorable moment is the time he bumped into his younger brother in Naples, who he didn’t even know had been deployed.
“I didn’t even know he was over there,” said Chockla, “so we spent the afternoon together, looking around, walking around Naples, found a place to eat.”
Chockla has lived in South Miami since 1951, and the street he lives on was recently named after him.
He had five brothers who all served in World War II and all survived. Chockla is the only one of his brothers still living.
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