From October 10-13, 2016, Wish of a Lifetime was honored to send 7 special older adults to Washington D.C. to see the nation’s war memorials. The group was comprised of 5 veterans and 2 wives of veterans and represented veterans from WWII and the Korean War.
The group was comprised of—
John, 90, and Gloria, 88, from New Jersey. John served during WWWII as a rifleman in the Rainbow Division (42nd Infantry Division). He spent two and a half years on the front lines of Europe in France, Germany, and Austria. Awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge with a bronze star and attained the rank of Regimental Sergeant Major upon discharge. His loving wife Gloria wished to go with John to the memorials to be there as his support system, as she has been since they married in 1953.
Mary, 94, from Oklahoma, who served during WWII in the Coast Guard, which was extremely rare for a woman. She recalled having to wear skirts during basic training, which was extremely uncomfortable, and how the fleas from the beach would “fly up your skirt”. Mary spent her time in the service in New York where she did secretarial work during the war.
Orla, 87, from Oklahoma, who served his country during the Korean War. He was drafted in 1952 and had to leave his wife, who was 8 months pregnant at the time. He was sent to Korea as part of the Army Engineer Corps in the 79th Construction Battalion and served for two years. He mainly served around Seoul as an equipment mechanic. He was promoted to a Sergeant upon discharge.
Warren, 92, from Denver, served during WWII for the US Army. He rode to Europe on the Queen Elizabeth and spent two and a half years in Germany, Normandy and other areas of France. It is believed that he attained the rank of a corporal, but his memory impairment makes knowing more about his service close to impossible.
Edith, 87, from South Carolina, travelled to DC in honor of her husband, who passed away just a few months before our trip left. Her husband’s name was Julius, and he served in the US Air Force during the Korean War. He was stationed in Japan and Korea, working in the control towers at the bases. He also worked for General Dynamics (a global aerospace and Defense Company) for 35 years, where he helped put the first monkey into space.
Robert, 79, from Denver, served in the Marines during the Korean War. His father and step-mother signed him up for the service at the young age of 14. The first part of his tour he was on an amphibious unit and served on a submarine, attacking enemy gun positions at night. After the Korean War he served in the Army in favor of the 82nd Airborne Division and became a certified paratrooper.
Professional Photography Credits to: PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRITTANY JOHNSON