JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The top vote getter in the News4Jax Military Hero contest was presented his prize Friday at Key Buick GMC on the Southside.

Bill Fowler, 92, was a paratrooper during World War II. He jumped behind enemy lines on D-Day, fought in battles in the European theater and was a key soldier in the Battle for Bastogne.

Fowler, who was wounded in France, received more than 26,000 votes during the Military Hero contest for the Jacksonville Fireworks Spectacular on July 4.

Friday, Key Buick GMC Hyundai gave him his prize: a $1,000 gift card.

“Just like anybody else in the contest, I enjoyed it when I would hear I was ahead. Everybody wants to be a winner,” Fowler said with a smile. “It shows me that people really appreciate what we did during the war for our country.”

The Fowlers have six children and have been married for 74 years.

Fowler, who will turn 93 on Tuesday, said most of his family has been in the military or connected with the military and he said that might have contributed to the number of votes he received in the contest.