A nearly 100-year-old United States Army veteran, who was once a bank executive but now works as a part-time grocery store cashier in Massachusetts, was honored Friday for his selfless service in World War II.
Louis San Miguel, 95, has been working as a part-time cashier for the Stop & Shop in Braintree for the last 21 years.
On Friday, Stop & Shop, along with local and state officials, honored San Miguel with a citation for his service while serving in the Army's 103rd Infantry Division in France, Germany and Italy during World War II.
San Miguel, who celebrated his birthday on Dec. 28, was also given a cake at the surprise event.
"I just love the people that come through here. They're wonderful," San Miguel said.
Among those who attended the event at the Grove Street store were San Miguel's family, state Sen. Walter Timility and area first responders.
"I met Lou on the picket line back in April during the Stop & Shop strike ... I was struck by how much they cared about him," Timility said during the event.
That picket line encounter led to the tribute to San Miguel.
"It's a wonderful thing. It really is. All veterans should be honored that way, honestly," San Miguel said.
San Miguel, who grew up in Barre, Vermont, entered the Army in 1943. He later attended the University of Vermont and graduated in 1950 with a degree in accounting.
A few years after retiring from the First National Bank of Boston as an assistant vice president, he took the cashier job at Stop & Shop when he was 74 years old. He now works 16 hours a week.
"You know, my dad always used to say, 'You know son, if you don't work, you don't eat.' And that stuck in my head, and all my life I've wanted to work. All my life and I enjoyed," San Miguel said.
San Miguel and his wife Lucille have been married 67 years and live in Braintree. They have four daughters.