Local veterans remember

Published 10:15 pm Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Local veterans came together on Wednesday to reminisce about their service and remember their fallen brothers.

The Disabled American Veterans Chapter 5 held an open house for Veterans Day, allowing veterans to socialize, eat and get help with benefits claims.

“I have mixed feelings about Veterans Day,” said 20-year Army veteran Curtis Day. “I’m patriotic whether it’s Veterans Day or not.”

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About 30 veterans turned out for the open house, talking about subjects from their military service to the football season.

“Freedom is not free,” Day quipped. “Everything is paid for in blood and sacrifices, and I’m proud to have given mine so I could live in a free country.”

Across from Day at the table was Max Jenkins, a Marine Corps Vietnam veteran who received the Purple Heart after being wounded in a rocket attack.

“I joined because it was a job,” admitted Jenkins, who signed up when he was 17. “I grew up on the farm with point blank nothing. Every opportunity you can want is in the military. Once I got in, I loved it.”

Jenkins had been in the military for 15 years when the Vietnam War started. He might have tried to get out, but he didn’t, he said.

“My contract was to do what I was ordered to do,” he said. “Somebody’s got to do the job.”

Marine Corps veteran James Wright recalls 13-year military tenure as a time when black servicemen were treated equally among the men, even if they were not seen as such by the general public. Wright worked in the supply chain in Korea.

“It really means something to me,” he said.

For more information on the DAV, call 934-2695.