Family of veterans remember serving for their country


SHELBYVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — Veterans all around the country were being recognized today. One Central Illinois family is proud of eight brothers who served.

I got the chance to sit down with four of them and they served in the Army and National Guard. They say it was a tough experience, but they felt like it was their duty to serve.

“We all served and we all did our thing so that’s it,” Wayne Slifer, veteran, said.

Eight brothers from Shelby County are proud to have served their country. Four of the brothers have passed, but what they did for this country is still being remembered during a national holiday.

“When I went to Germany, I was pretty close to Mannheim and my brother was over there, my older brother, he was over there and he was up in Nuremberg, and I went up there a couple times to see him,” Jim Slifer, veteran, said.

Ralph and Jim both served in the U.S. Army in Germany at the same time. Kenneth and Paul also served with the U.S. Army. Richard, Russell, Max, and Wayne were members of the National Guard.

“My brother was getting drafted and I was 18 out of high school and I signed up for three years to get it over with,” Richard Slifer, veteran, said. “It’s peace time and I figured there wouldn’t be any war, which there wasn’t.”

The draft was happening around this time for the men so while some were drafted like Paul.

“Uncle Sam sent me a notice said your friends and neighbors have selected you, and I got drafted,” Paul Slifer, veteran, said.

“Vietnam didn’t look very good,” Wayne Slifer, veteran, said. “Its the only choice I had. I went to the service, did my time, and come back.”

Other brothers enlisted before they were drafted.

“I was next to being drafted back then they had the draft so I volunteered to go ahead before and my term ended early,” Jim Slifer, veteran, said.

While the men are proud of their family, they say it was a scary experience.

“Vietnam was going hot and heavy and I figured, eh, I’ll come back in a box,” Paul Slifer, veteran, said.

“How would you feel being 18-19 years old, got to go over seas, come back in a pine box,” Wayne Slifer, veteran, said. “Yeah, who’d want that?”

The men were able to celebrate Veteran’s Day with a meal at the American Legion.

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