MABEN, Miss. (WCBI)-For many veterans it’s a trip of a lifetime. Going to Washington, D.C. To view memorials of the wars they fought in alongside their comrades-in-arms. WCBI’s Heather Black sits down with one Maben veteran this Memorial Day Weekend to look back on his experience when he traveled to our nations capitol.
“The airport was full going and coming and they welcomed us and told us how they appreciate our service and it was really something,” says Wyman Bishop.
88 Year old World War II veteran, Wyman Bishop along with 80 other veterans who served in World War II and the Korean War, went to Washington, D.C. Last month to see the memorials built in their honor.
“We saw the World War II memorial it was something I’m telling you. Changing of the guard at the platoon, that was fabulous. They marched in there like robots. I did a lot of drilling in the Marines, but I sure am glad I wouldn’t want to be a guard at Arlington,” says Bishop.
Bishop was a Marine sergeant placed in Special Service from the time he was drafted in 1943 until 1945 when he was discharged. He later joined the ROTC at Mississippi State University where he graduated a second Lieutenant in the Army Reserve.
During his trip he took a tour of the battle of Iwo jima. He says looking at the footage of the battle, made him remember he could have been on that battlefield.
“I was destined to go to that but they filled up with recruits and replacements before they got to me and I missed it, but a bunch of my friends that did go I saw the film on them floating in the bay. I was lucky,” says Bishop.
Marine Corporal William Carpenter who served in Vietnam was Bishop’s guardian for the trip. He says the reactions of the veterans at some of the memorial sights were priceless.
“Some were fighting back tears I mean it was so moving you know to see all the memorials and the tribute that they put on with the honor guards, the playing of the taps. All the veterans there were just so many many of them and they were just awe struck,” says William Carpenter.
Traveling with veterans to Washington, Carpenter says it was an honor that very few understand today.
“We’re losing veterans everyday you know, World War II veterans there are not a lot of them left they’re passing on everyday. I don’t know how much of the history is being taught in the schools. Especially for the young people they need to see first hand what the military has done why they have the freedoms that we have today is because of the sacrifice,” says Carpenter.
This trip was offered by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Fifth Honor Flight.