Veterans Reflect On Their Time In The Military At Rogers Ceremony

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ROGERS (KFSM) -- During a ceremony to honor veterans on Tuesday (Nov. 10), some of them looked back on their time in the military.

Keni Thomas, who was a part of the famous Black Hawk Down mission, was the keynote speaker and told his story to the crowd.

He encouraged the veterans to share their stories and told them they are all heroes.

Some veterans though played down the hero status and stated they just did their job,

"I certainly was not a hero. I was just there," WWII veteran, Lavon Chandler said. "I do know some heroes, and I met them. We had a lot of them.”

Every veteran had a story, but no matter what the war or branch, many veterans said Veterans’ Day is about coming together and honoring one another.

"It's been a privilege to serve our country,” Vietnam veteran, Robert Baldwin, said. “It's not something that you really go up and brag about, but it's an honor, and it's a great feeling inside, and then to be able to celebrate that feeling with other veteran who also supported you while they were there, it means a great deal to me personally.”

Baldwin served in the Air Force in Vietnam.

“When I came back, the world had really changed,” Baldwin said. “I was over there for 15 months, which was a long tour, and my wife met me at the airplane, and she had on hot pants. I didn't even know what hot pants were at the time.”

Another Vietnam Veteran, Travis Ayres, served in the Navy and said being 20 years old, he didn’t fully understand going off to war.

“My buddies had bandoliers, BARS, Thompson submachine guns and M1s, and that was actually the first time I realized I was actually in a war,” Ayres said.

At the ceremony, there were donations taken for the Special Operations Warrior Fund, in which 100 percent of proceeds go toward putting a child through college whose parent was killed in the line of duty.

Veterans at the ceremony described them as the true heroes, the ones who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Ayres said he doesn't consider himself a hero, and most veteran's will say the same thing.

“They won't allow you to call them heroes because they will tell you, and I think this goes for all wars and conflicts, that the heroes are the ones who gave their lives and didn't make it back,” Ayres said.

3 comments

      • tasdgs

        You do not think that people get murdered and families destroyed in war? Have you ever been in a war or seen the devastation caused by war? War is not a pretty thing. It only brings destruction. Call me names, if you would like, but that is the reality of the situation. Have a good day.

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