Coast doctor recognizes World War II Veterans in a special way - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Coast doctor recognizes World War II Veterans in a special way

Dick Kinser was a Marine Corps pilot who flew numerous transport missions into Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and Guam.  (Photo source: WLOX News) Dick Kinser was a Marine Corps pilot who flew numerous transport missions into Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and Guam.  (Photo source: WLOX News)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

June 6th, 2017 marks the 73rd anniversary of D-Day, the turning point for World War II in Europe. World War II took place between 1939 and 1944.
And sadly, as time marches on, the number of soldiers who took part in this war and are still with us today is dwindling. In recognition of their contributions and sacrifices, one coast doctor and his family decided to plan a special trip for these heroes to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

Nearly 2,500 Americans died on D-Day. More than 400,000 American soldiers were killed during World War II. With more than fifty countries involved, World War II was the most widespread and the deadliest military conflict in history. 

94 year old Dick Kinser from Long Beach was part of the Pacific Theater. "Interestingly, we had two major fronts going on at the same time. The Pacific front and the European." 

Kinser was a Marine Corps pilot who flew numerous transport missions into Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and Guam.  

Today, he and his wife of 70 years, Mary, have more than their fair share of doctor's appointments to keep up with. One of the retired veteran's doctors' is Gulfport Ophthalmologist, Dr. Chris Hogan.  Dr. Hogan sees a lot of elderly patients, and several of them are World War II Veterans.

The doctor-patient relationship over the years has led to Dr. Hogan and his family planning this special trip to the National World War II Museum. They have chartered a bus to take at least nine veterans, along with family members, on this D-Day Anniversary. He says it's a way for them to say thank you. "These heroes and veterans stared evil in the eyes and they defeated the enemy, and as a consequence the world is a very different place now than it could have been."

Kinser has no trouble remembering the day his squadron learned the war was over. They were stationed at Guam, and the moment turned into a celebration of machine gun fire. "That night all of a sudden all hell broke loose. The machine guns were so deafening I wanted to dig a hole. We couldn't believe the war was over. They found a case of beer and soon everyone was having a rip roaring time."

Those are the kinds of stories Dr Hogan hopes these World War II heroes will be able to share during their special trip to the museum. "Because as these heroes get older this opportunity for them to exchange history and stories, and what they've done for our country, is somewhat limited."

He says taking them on this trip is "a way of doing the right thing for them as they did for us with their bravery, achievements, courage, and sacrifice."

Dr. Hogan's wife and son will be making the trip, along with one of his nurses. No doubt it will be a special day. Some of these veterans will be seeing the museum for the first time.

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