SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - The perils of war are impossible to comprehend unless you have actually been in the throws of conflict. It takes a special breed of American to sacrifice for this country. The inspiration to serve comes in different forms.
For some people, it's a family honor.
"I'm glad I served my country just like my father and my uncles. Part of your duty as an American; serve your country," said Richard Cole.
Cole served in the Vietnam War in the Naval Construction Battalion from 1968 to 1970. What he experienced for this country is something that he wouldn't trade for any dollar amount.
"It's the greatest place in the world. Everybody wants to come here," said Cole.
World War II veteran Donald Young said this country's greatness is easy to see when comparing it to other nations in the world.
"All I have to do is go to some other country or watch the news in some other country, and it won't be hard for them to love America," said Young.
Young joined the Merchant Marines in 1944 when he was 18.
"I didn't know much about it when I joined, but it turned out to be a dangerous place. We carried supplies and gasoline across the Atlantic and the Pacific to the soldiers," said Young.
Young wound up coming back home to the states without many of his friends and fellow servicemen.
Jack Oyster served in the Army and didn't know if he would be coming home after being captured as a prisoner of war during World War II. He and his fellow soldiers were held in captivity from Sept. 27, 1944 to April 26, 1945 after a forced march led them to a ship back to the states.
"One of the greatest things I saw was the Statue of Liberty, and I knew damn well that I was home and didn't have to put up with those Germans anymore," said Oyster.
His love for America is what drove him to serve and what brought him back home.
"Living in the USA is great," said Oyster.