Thursday, April 1, 2010

Monroe Vets Visit World War II Memorial in DC

Monroe Vets Visit World War II Memorial in DC

A recent ABC story called, "Greatest Generation Gets the Wish of a Lifetime" featured a group of World War II veterans from the Mt. Pleasant Retirement Village in Monroe, who got, well, the "wish of a lifetime." The group was able to visit the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC.

United States Navy veteran Milton Mapou was just 19 when he joined the service in 1940. He recalls his time at Pearl Harbor in an interview with ABC, "Kamikazes came in and one of them peeled off and came right at us. As the ship was going down, I came to and I was laying there with my foot twisted around...all I could see was bone sticking out of my femur."

Mapou told ABC that visiting the World War II Memorial has been one of his biggest wishes. The trip was made possible by Jeremy Bloom's Wish of a Lifetime. Jeremy Bloom's Wish of a Lifetime is a nonprofit organization founded by Jeremy Bloom, a former Olympian and NFL wide receiver.

The group's executive director, Deirdre Moynihan told ABC she's "embarrassed" by what happens to some American veterans, "They don't expect and they don't ask for anything, but maybe they shouldn't have to ask. Maybe we should offer. Maybe we should all be standing there and say, 'What is it you need?'"

ABC goes on to talk about just how under appreciated the "Greatest Generation" is in today's society. From having problems finding a job to the lack of education today's students receive about the struggles our World War II veterans went through to fight for our freedom, many younger people do not understand exactly what it means to be a World War II veteran.

Mapou told ABC, "I went to one of the schools in Columbus and was giving talks about Pearl Harbor, and the first thing I asked them was, 'Do you know where Pearl Harbor is?' And not one of them knew where Pearl Harbor was. Schools don't teach them. They don't teach that stuff."

For more of the story, including photos and a video, visit: Greatest Generation Gets the Wish of a Lifetime

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