Oldest Pearl Harbor Veteran to Get Post Office Named After Him

HONOLULU, HI - DECEMBER 07: Pearl Harbor survivor Ray Chavez (C) sits with his daughter Kathleen Chavez (L) and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Dorian Bozza (R) during a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor at Kilo Pier on December 07, 2016 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Chavez …
Craig T. Kojima - Pool/Getty Images

The oldest military veteran of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor will have a post office named in his memory two years after his death.

President Donald Trump signed a bill Monday ordering that the main post office in Poway, California — a San Diego suburb — be named after Ray Chavez, NBC News reported.

Chavez was the last survivor of the attack that drew the Americans into World War II when he died in 2018 at the age of 106.

Chavez joined the Navy in 1938 and was aboard the USS Condor when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

He grew up in San Diego, and after World War II, worked as a groundskeeper at the University of California San Diego. Chavez later started a landscaping business in the town of Poway.

Before Chavez’s death, he visited the White House to greet Trump.

After his visit, the president called Chavez an “inspiration to all who are here today and all of our great country,” according to NBC.

Chavez always felt closely connected to the events of Pearl Harbor and those who served with him, even decades after World War II.

“I still feel a loss,” Chavez said during a 2016 ceremony on the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, according to the Hill. “We were all together. We were friends and brothers. I feel close to all of them.”

In 2019, Kathleen Chavez, Ray’s daughter and a fellow Navy veteran, said her father would have been humbled to have a post office named in his honor.

“I think he’s probably looking down from heaven right now and saying, ‘I don’t know what they’re making such a big deal about.’ He was always so humble about his service in World War II and would probably say, ‘I was just doing my job like everyone else,'” she told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

“But also I think he’d be very pleased, and I think he deserves it,” Kathleen Chavez added.


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