AFRH hosts annual Veterans Day tribute - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

AFRH hosts annual Veterans Day tribute

Many of the honored veterans are members of the so-called "greatest generation". (Photo source: WLOX News) Many of the honored veterans are members of the so-called "greatest generation". (Photo source: WLOX News)
Some vets say that the families of vets need to be told thank you, as well. (Photo source: WLOX News) Some vets say that the families of vets need to be told thank you, as well. (Photo source: WLOX News)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

On Veterans Day, there were multiple events across South Mississippi honoring those who wore the uniform.

One such tribute took place in front of the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport.

“And it's such an honor, Lord God, to be able to be here today among these most distinguished and honored veterans,” said Pastor Michael Gibson, as he offered the invocation.

Many of the honored veterans are members of the so-called "greatest generation".

“I'm 91 years old,” said Joe McArn, “Far as I know, I'm just lucky to be here.”

William Jossendal is among those who saw the world and survived the horrors of combat.

“Well, I came in the Navy in 1943. Out in the Pacific. Survived that ordeal. I shipped into the regular Navy in 1947 and stayed in until 1964. It was quite an experience,” he recalled.

Young people thanked and shook hands with D.C. Breland, who experienced a tour of the world, answering the call of his country.

“It was in France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, in the Belgian bulge. I was lucky though. I was in the later part of it,” said Breland.

Retired General Joe Spraggins delivered a heartfelt tribute, saying veterans deserve our deepest respect and thanks.

“And one other that we don't honor near as much as we should is the families of the veterans. We don't go around and tell the families how much they've sacrificed and how much we thank them for what they've done,” said Spraggins.

Many women have also answered the call to duty.

“I was a control tower operator. And we were not exactly welcomed by the gentlemen in the service, but we persevered. We managed. By the time the war was over, we were accepted,” said World War II veteran, Sally Blythe

Betty Lou Dennis had a much different assignment in WWII.

“I was a singer, I sang my way through service," said Dennis. "I joined a recruiting show out of the ninth naval district in Chicago."

Spraggins says while it's right to recognize veterans on this holiday, it's something that should be done every day. 

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