To some veterans day is a day to pay their respects but for those who served like Private First Class Robert Fretter the day means much more.
“I just did what they wanted me to do. Like I said I lost my best friend in the battle. I don’t know why I didn’t go over there because but I went the other way,” said Fretter.
Today Fretter is 93 years old. He served in the Mars Task force during World War II where he helped in the final push to remove Japanese forces from Burma and China.
He was one of two other veterans who were honored today at the Lansing Community Center. Fretter says to this day when he looks back at his time in the army he is still very proud of the people he served with.
“I’m just very lucky. I was really proud of the guys that I was with. I mean I met some of the nicest people. When were in Shanghai it was really nice. The war wasn’t on then.”
East Lansing also had their own event. Members of the 24th Marines laid wreathes down to honor those who served including the city’s own hero and medal of honor recipient US Marines Reserve Second Lieutenant Sherrod E. Skinner. And those who currently serve say looking at the memorial is a powerful and emotional experience.
“It always gives us a sense of awe. Usually I will get goose bumps when I’m in the presence of something like that. It’s incredible what a lot of the men and women have done for our country,” said Charlie company inspector and instructor 124 Lansing, Major Abbelardo Llamas.
To learn more about our veterans and the sacrifices they have made for us click on the news tab. There you’ll find stories there from our special series Veterans Voices.