Thursday afternoon, a group of veterans hovered over the bar at the Elks Lodge, drinking beer, teasing each other about hitting on women and badgering the manager for socializing instead of staying in the office.
But when talk turned to the reason for their gathering - their trip to Washington, D.C. to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., the men quickly became solemn, nostalgic and filled with pride.
"I had a brother, William, in the Air Force who passed. I want to see all the different memorials while I still can. I'm excited about it," said Frank DeRose, 83, a World War II vet who fought as an infantryman in the Normandy invasion.
DeRose said he was discharged with a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, "etc., etc.," after shrapnel slammed into his chest and right arm.
"I decided I wanted to see the memorial before ... any more years go by," he said, laughing.
Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here
In addition to the Elks, there is also a group called the Honor Flight Network that pays for the travel expenses of veterans to make the trip to Washington, DC. You can read more about Honor Flight here and here.
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