AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Thousands of former war prisoners across the country hold a piece of history with them.
During an Amarillo VA luncheon area veterans had the opportunity to share their own personal stories and form a support group.
VA officials say events like these hold a special place in their hearts and hosting these events is a way to show appreciation to the bravery of the veterans.
"It's always positive for them, its always exciting that someone is willing to do something for them," POW Advocate Veva Valdez said. "We have a great majority of people that are War World 2 former prisoners of war and so they are not really used to letting people do things for them."
Several men shared war stories that were all unique but one thing in common...they all were proud to be Americans.
"I was a prisoner of war for four and a half months," Veteran Clifford Soloman said. "I never was in a camp they kept us walking all of the time because Hitler gave orders to kill all the prisoners so they kept us walking. You couldn't stop if one of your buddies fell out you couldn't stop and help him cause they'll shoot you both they wouldn't put up with."
Soloman adds luncheons like today's makes him feel great to hear the veterans talk about everything they have been through and he considers himself lucky.
"It was great to be back in America and I thank the good lord every morning that I am still breathing," Soloman said.
Officials from the VA say it is important for the community to show appreciation to our prisoner of war veterans and give them a chance to be apart of a support group.
The VA offers former prisoners of war special care benefits for the hardships they endured during their captivity.
"I think one of the biggest assets we have especially for those who served during WW2 is our nursing home and the Texas Veterans home which is very receptive to providing immediate placement to them," Valdez said.