Veterans Reminisce About Their World War II Duty - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/11/02

Veterans Reminisce About Their World War II Duty

From left: Ben Scarpero, Bobby Brooks and George France From left: Ben Scarpero, Bobby Brooks and George France

Ben Scarpero put his arm around Bobby Brooks and George France and smiled. "The three musketeers," he joked. "But that was the wrong war."

The Scarpero, Brooks, France war was World War II.

The picture the three men posed for will be put alongside the one from 62 years ago, when they first met. "I was the first sergeant when this took place," Brooks said.

The 88 year old now lives in Biloxi. He's one of the last three surviving members of the Louisiana National Guard unit that put the World War II draft into action. "My job was to explain to them that we were coming in to help the Louisiana National Guard headquarters in drafting people in Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida into the draft," he said.

Just 18 men originally made up the national guard's draft team. "There were 15 of us enlisted men, and three officers," said Scarpero, as he looked at a picture from the night they all got sworn in.

One of the enlisted men was George France. Now 82 years old, France is considered the baby of this survivors' group. "I never expected to be here today, to tell you the truth," France laughed. France now lives in New Orleans. "I don't go too much for this Veterans stuff," he said. "I mean, it was something I had to do. I went and did it, and I came home."

The three survivors have made a pact. When only one is left, he'll drink a champagne toast to the entire Louisiana National Guard unit.

by Brad Kessie

Powered by Frankly