East Texans gather in Longview to remember

By LaKecia Shockley - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - There is perhaps no other part of our nation more patriotic than Texas - that's especially true here in East Texas. In Gregg County, nearly 100 patriots came out to show a sign of respect and honor.

Armed hand in hand, East Texas veterans could be seen with the people who love them.

"We owe them our prayers everyday, not just today," said Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt.

"They are like heroes to me because they made our country free," said Aaron Sorenson, with Troup Pack 207.

"We can't forget these veterans that served before me," said Lance Corporal Skylor Heinaman, 19. "They're getting older now and they need people to take care of them too."

For Heinaman, this Veterans Day comes weeks before his deployment. And, for Marine veteran Lonnie Eugene Hughes, it's a long awaited recognition.

"This gentleman was on the beach during Iwo Jima when the Americans put the flag up on foreign soil," said Hughes. "He knew his enemy."

An enemy that left unforgettable scars...

"I got hit with a chi-com," said Gunnery Sergeant Danny White, with the U.S. Marine Corp. "A chi-com is a Chinese communist grenade. This is all artificial and this is the scar right here alright. I been around the block a lot. I enlisted 10 days before my 17th birthday."

For the veterans who made it back home safe, they don't take it lightly.

"I was 20 years and six months in, and maybe 30 to 35 years out," said Edward Sintell, a U.S. Army veteran. "So, you know, I'm happy. I'm a happy, man, this day, and I thank God for everything!"

State Representative Tommy Merritt presented several state and American flags that were once flown over the White House to veterans.

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