(Memphis) The opportunity to honor a military veteran is just two days away.
Sunday, veterans will gather across the Mid-South to remember those who sacrificed for our freedoms.
To honor one group is urgent.
The nation is losing almost 1,000 WWII veterans per day.
One of those veterans shared the value of veterans day on Friday.
“A sailor, an airman, a soldier; everyone has got a story,” said 88-year-old Luke McLaurine. He is no different.
Engine failure forced his B-24 bomber out of the sky in Austria during World War Two. His crew bailed out behind enemy lines.
“I was out there dumping ammunition out of the bomb bay and my copilot stepped on my shoulder and I watched him disappear into the clouds,” said McLaurine.
He followed behind, but his parachute collapsed half-way down. He hit a tree, but managed to live after landing head first in a snow bank. It saved his life.
“After I got out of that snow bank I was in,” he said as he paused, “I still have nightmares from that.”
Germans captured McLaurine and his army air corps crew.
For six months they ate only what the International Red Cross could give them.
“I weighed 135 pounds when I jumped and I weighed 98 pounds when I got out,” McLaurine said.
Many POW’s suffered badly. McLaurine says he was lucky to get out with his life. Not everyone was so lucky.
He spends every Veteran’s Day remembering their sacrifice and honoring the victory they fought for,” Just remember that we did it”