McRAE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Veterans of World War II, Vietnam and Desert Storm swapped war stories at a Veterans Day ceremony held in downtown McRae.
The veterans and their families gathered in Liberty Park, Monday, to pay tribute to the men and women, who have served in the military.
"I served on the destroyer USS Shea," said Ernest Dyal. "We were in the invasion of Okinawa while there we shot down 16 Japanese suicide planes and we sunk a submarine. But, the 17th suicide plane got us and killed about 35 of our fine young men and put us out of action until the end of the war."
Pastor Peter Barlow of McRae United Methodist Church served as guest speaker for the event.
Pastor Barlow told the crowd at the freedoms we enjoy today, such as the freedom of speech, are the result of our armed forces fighting to preserve them.
He cried as he recalled being reunited with his family, after serving 21 years in the navy.
"When you've been deployed and gone, you never forget how being welcomed home by friends and family in the community, there's no feeling in the world," says Barlow. "So I would say that was my most memorable experience."
James Cray said he was drafted into the United States Army in 1966, to serve in Vietnam. He said the good moments were few and far between. However, he says it was a priviledge and a pleasure and a pleasure to travel while serving his country.
"I got to see cities, that I probably otherwise would have never seen," said Cray.
John Domney is a WWII Prisoner of War. He says his plane was shot down over Austria, and he and his crew had to bail out of the plane before it crashed. However, shortly afterwards they were captured and held there for 10 days. But he says they were never mistreated.
"They were alright," says Domney. "I mean you know they treated me fine. They knew that Patton's army was on the way in, so we didn't have a bad time."
Even though the veterans say they have seen, the good, the bad, and the ugly. They say they are proud to have served their country and protect our liberty.