Local VFW member honors fellow veterans at West Park Place
Thomas Doran is proud of his service and his country. At 92 years old, he looks back at his time in the Navy with no regrets, even though his decision came with sacrifice.
"I never had a date, I never had a prom, I never did a lot of things others did," he said. "Instead I went to war."
He was one of many, who as teenagers, served the country. Joining in 1941 he went to boot camp and then off to sea, fighting in five major battles in the Pacific.
He hopes, on Veterans Day people recognize what they did for freedom.
"The young generation today doesn't realize what was given up by those people," Doran told 13abc.
This year, in his original Navy uniform, Doran led a special ceremony at West Park Place.
Although he's modest, saying, "I'm nothing more than a stand in doing the narrating of the 13 folds." He says he was honored to stand next to his fellow VFW members.
"If we forget our past, we have no future," Dave Grycza, VFW Post 606 Commander said.
Grycza says Doran is an important part of the post's history as the oldest surviving member. He joined in 1943. As a retired airman, Grycza says he knows that a simple "thank you" goes a long way.
"We're here to honor them and the service the did for us," he said.
Doran says it was all a small price to pay for the country he loves.
"I'd do it all over again. If they'd take me today, I'd go," Doran said with a smile.
After the war Doran was married and raised 6 kids. He and his wife recently celebrated 70 years of marriage.