Congressman Bill Johnson speaks to the Washington County Republicans Club in honor of Veteran's Day and brings along a friend. Eighty-eight years old, George "Poppy" Fowler tells about the days he served during World War II, the way only a few can do anymore.
"The last thing I saw when we left to go on a mission was that flag mounted at the top of the post. Coming back from (the mission) the first thing I saw was the flag at the top of a ship. The heart, it jumps just a little bit every time I see that flag."
He says to him that flag, the war, and Veteran's Day all means one thing- freedom. "I would die for it again if I had to. I would even put my life in danger. For without it, where would we be. We must not lose our freedom, it must not be a threat upon. We fought for it. It is ours. It is yours, it is your children's.
Poppy, who got his nickname from the neighborhood kids, remembers those friends who sacrificed their lives for the country. "They gave their all. They're your heroes, I'm not hero. I'm here. The heroes are at the bottom of the ocean in these national cemeteries, over seas, they never got home.
But Veteran's Day is a time to honor all those, living or dead, who have served in our military.
"There's no other segment of our society that deserves the gratitude and the thanks like our nation's heroes, like our veterans do," explains Congressman Bill Johnson.
Congressman Johnson, a veteran himself, has grown close to Poppy. He says he is inspired and proud every time he sees a new generation willing to fight for a country. "What is it that motivates our young people to go and willingly give their lives there is something about this idea of freedom founded in faith and family that makes America great."
"This nation on earth is the greatest one there ever was I would not give it up," says Poppy, "not one minute if I had to go again today I would be more than happy to go and fight for this nation."
Along with telling about his experiences, Poppy and Congressman Johnson spoke about the Columbus Honor Flight Program. The program recognizes and celebrates World War II and Korean War veterans by flying them to Washington D.C. to visit the memorials dedicated to them. Congressman Johnson escorted Poppy when he went to D.C.
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