MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Jack Grantham, a World War II veteran, spent Monday remembering and honoring the young men that fought in his unit back in 1944.
When Grantham was 22 years old, he was preparing to complete his final mission in Japan. But as his crew flew over the Pacific Ocean, the plane was shot down. Grantham held on debris for 18 hours before his crew was finally rescued. Three of the men didn't survive.
"Whenever they come back and there are parades and accolades, and all that I think of those three at the back end of the plane," Grantham said, "There won't be any parades or promotion for them."
Grantham attended his first Veterans Day Parade in Milledgeville on Monday. He spent the day watching Georgia Military College march and perform, listening to patriotic songs and sharing lots of stories of combat.
"It was amazing," Grantham said, "if God willing, I will be back next year."
The city of Milledgville celebrated Veterans Day at the Georgia War Veterans Home. It's a celebration, Milledgeville Mayor Richard Bentley is proud to be a part of.
"We try to make sure we celebrate everyday," Bentley said, "but particularly on Veterans Day, when we actually showcase that it's their day."
For Grantham it's just a day to catch up with old friends. He doesn't look at himself as a hero, he says it's all in a days work.