91-year-old WWII vet receives Marine Corps dress uniform

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HEMPSTEAD -

A 91-year-old WWII veteran from Hempstead says he had one wish after he came back from the war: to receive his dress blue uniform.

Vincent Long says he never received his dress blues because of racial discrimination.

Long was drafted at age 18, and served in the segregated Marine unit known as the Montford Point Marines. The members were the first black Americans to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Long recently told his story to a board member of Honor Flight Long Island, who decided to make Long's wish come true.

On Wednesday, a retired colonel from Garden City presented Long with a custom-fitted Marine Corps dress uniform, including a white hat, belt and gloves.

Long says he feels proud to finally wear the symbol of honor, duty and sacrifice.

"It took them 71 years, but we made it," he says.

Long wore his uniform to Hempstead Village Hall on Wednesday, where he received a citation for his service.

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