The Inaugural Texas Panhandle Honor Flight: Part 2 - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

2008

The Inaugural Texas Panhandle Honor Flight: Part 2

FG Crofford, World War II Veteran FG Crofford, World War II Veteran
Royce Cotton Boyce, World War II Veteran Royce Cotton Boyce, World War II Veteran
Walter Pivarunas, World War II Veteran Walter Pivarunas, World War II Veteran

42 World War II veterans from the Texas Panhandle just took a trip of a lifetime to Washington D.C. to experience the memorial erected in their honor.

NewsChannel 10 went on the trip as well, and every morning this week we'll bring you the stories from the inaugural Texas Panhandle Honor Flight.

When Texas Panhandle World War II Veteran FG Crofford first set eyes on the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC, a rush of eomtion came over him.

He says, "It makes cold chills go all over you. You can see pictures all you want too, but it can't even come close to what you actually see here. This is just fabulous."

The massive memorial includes marble monuments remembering both the battles in the Atlantic, and Pacific fronts.

Veteran Royce "Cotton " Boyce says "I'm thinking back, I lost a lot of soldiers since the war, and all this is in there honor. I think it's a real privelege."

A privelege to be alive, becuase standing out amongst all the marble monuments, and elaborate fountains, are four thousand gold stars signifying the 400,000 US lives lost during the war. 

Veteran Walter Pivarunas says "Taking sugarloaf hill, that was the biggest one. I think we lost about 4,000 right on that one hill. I heard in the newspaper they've lost 4,000 in Iraq in six years. We did that in 10 days. So it was no picnic, I'll tell you."

And it's making sure younger generations understand the reality of the World War II that makes the memorial so important for the veterans.

Crofford's daughter, Karen Floyd says, "It just means the world.  We were so excited. We've always knew WWII was a special time, but to get to come experience it with him was so amazing."

Crofford says, "It makes you very proud that you had a small part in all of this."

A humbling experience for Crofford, and the other 41 Vets who sacrificed so much not for pride or glory, but because it was their job, a job that let freedom ring.

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