MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A decorated crowd filed into the Veterans Cafe in Myrtle Beach Friday to offer thanks to a deserving group of veterans.
Among the honorees was an unsuspecting World War II veteran, brought to the cafe under the guise of a lunch with friends.
“I never thought I was deserving of anything like this,” said a tearful Otto Markett.
Markett served as a PFC in the Army during World War II. He was there when Allied forces stormed Normandy Beach on June 6, 1944, historically known as “D-Day.”
“The guy never wants any credit for anything,” said family friend Mike Grehl. “I just feel like he deserves to be honored for his service."
Grehl organized the ‘surprise’ ceremony for Markett, which included a deceleration from the South Carolina State House, signed by the speaker of the S.C. House of Representatives.
“For the whole time I’ve known him, he never liked talking about his service,” Grehl said, adding Markett began opening up more about his time in the Army around 2017.
“Today shows me a lot of people care,” Markett said.
The Myrtle Beach Shorebirds presented 10 quilts to the group.
“We consider this as a welcome home gift for those who may not have gotten a very good welcome home,” said volunteer Theresa Gouker. “The veterans are always very appreciative of the honor.”
Since 2010, the Myrtle Beach Shorebirds have awarded 2,701 quilts to former service men and women, with over 340 still waiting to be honored.