President Reagan signed legislation Thursday granting a World War II veteran injured at Guadalcanal the disability benefits he was denied by the Navy because he lied about his age when he enlisted at age 12.
Reagan said Calvin L. Graham “is a veteran of Navy and Marine Corps service who has honorably served his country.”
The act provides that dental injuries Graham suffered at the Battle of Guadalcanal will be considered a permanent service-connected disability incurred in the line of duty. It also provides for reimbursement for treatment costs.
The measure also grants Graham a lump-sum payment of $4,917 in back pay for the period from Sept. 17, 1942, to April 5, 1943, when the Navy discovered his age and he was mustered out. He also will receive mustering out pay and interest.
Graham’s long quest to gain his disability benefits got a boost when he became the subject of a CBS television movie, “Too Young the Hero.”