Veterans share war experiences, memories with younger generations
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A group of veterans is working to help younger generations understand what happened during wars by sharing their experiences and memories.
Raising the American flag at Iwo Jima and the Nazi surrender are some of the most iconic moments from World War II.
The men and women who witnessed those moments and countless others first-hand are dwindling as the years go on.
To ensure the stories continue, members of the USS Hornet came up with a way to meet and share their experiences over a meal.
“It’s changed me because I get a chance to share different points of view of what has happened in history,” said Vietnam Army veteran Tom Edwards.
The group was once made up of hundreds of WWII veterans.
It has operated under several names since the 1950s, holding meetings all across the Tri-State.
Now, veterans of all branches gather at the Clovernook Country Club on the first Friday of each month for what is now the “Hornet Breakfast.”
“One of the original Hornet members on the USS Hornet World War II, fighter pilot or torpedo by plane pilot, kept bugging me about it and I told him as soon as I retire, I’d come,” explained Navy veteran Jim Bowden. “So, I started in 2000. I’ve been here. I think I’ve missed maybe one.”
After breakfast and the pledge of allegiance, they hear a presentation about the history of the wars they served in that coincide with the current month.
In November, they are learning about the Battle of Tarawa fought in the South Pacific 80 years ago.
“When we come here, we look at this, we look at history,” said Edwards. “It broadens my perception of all the folks that are here what they’ve done and how they’ve made contributions. We serve selflessly. We don’t do it to better ourselves. We do it to preserve our country, and to better our country.”
Along with learning more about their military background, veterans say it’s also a way to connect and support their fellow soldiers.
Many of them call it an unspoken friendship that goes beyond the battlefield.
“...it’s a brotherhood, really, and you get all the support you need,” Bowden declared.
The monthly event at the Clovernook Country Club is open to all branches of the military. The next meeting is Friday, Dec. 1.
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