Veterans History Project Wraps Up Series With Honorary Ceremony

GULFPORT (WLOX) -- Most people know the American anthem, but it's a song truly close to Clinton Matthews' heart. The Korean War veteran knows first hand about personal sacrifice for his country.

"Some of the guys didn't come back. I can still remember. I can see their faces," Matthews said.

Matthews' story was one of many told through the Veteran's History Project. He's glad someone is chronicling what he calls "the forgotten war."

"They talk about the Vietnam War and all this, but they never talk about the Korean War. So I call it the forgotten war, but it has brought people to me wanting to talk about it. I don't want to talk about it, because I get emotional about it," Matthews said.

Johnny Bankston was just 19 years old when he went to Vietnam. He, too, decided to share his story through the Veterans History Project.

"I decided to let people know what we had to go through during that time frame," Bankston said.

Bankston wears a bracelet as a constant reminder of fallen comrades in the war.

"It's a MIA bracelet. Two people, two pilots, one in the Air Force, one in the Marine Corps, and they haven't found their remains," he said.

And that's what the appreciation ceremony was about - honoring both the living and unsung heroes, who fought to preserve the freedom we all enjoy today.

"Some folks we couldn't get to, as far as getting on the air tonight, but every single person in this room has a story to tell," said WLOX Anchor Jeff Lawson at the ceremony.

And those stories will forever live on through the Veterans History Project.