CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — On this Veteran’s Day, we honor central Illinois veterans who served in the wars of different eras.
From the battlefields of Europe and Africa during World War II to the jungles of Vietnam and to the mountains and deserts of Afghanistan and Iraq, these veterans each have a story. They sat down with Marley Capper to tell those stories.
He served in Afghanistan and Iraq shortly after 9/11. He was injured by a rocket-propelled grenade, and 20 years later he is still dealing with the impacts of the blast. Now he is a motivational speaker to inspire others dealing with the pain of war.
He joined the military to serve in Vietnam. At the time he thought what was helping overseas was wrong. But when he got there, he realized it was not what he thought it would be. Now he’s dedicated his life to public service to take his mind off the horrors of war.
He served on the front lines of Vietnam as a combat medic. And while he saw the worst of it, he believes his more mature age, drafted at 25, has helped him process the war. Now he and his wife carol look back at a scrapbook she made of his time at war.
He served in Afghanistan and his car was hit by an IED. There is not a day that goes by where he doesn’t think about what happened and says he is just lucky to be alive. Now, he wants to encourage other veterans to talk about their experiences to find healing.
He signed up to serve in the Vietnam War, but when he returned the country was divided, and was not giving the warm homecoming welcome veterans were used to. Many Vietnam veterans still deal with that pain, but Hunter found healing through the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight.
He was called to serve in World War II in 1944. He believes his life was saved by a general’s decision to change his ship’s course ships course. He often looks back at his time and says he is thankful that he served.
He went to serve in World War II in 1941. He traveled across the globe and locked eyes with infamous enemies. His age and loss of sight has not taken away his memories at war; he could tell you stories for hours.