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Retired general tells crowd at city's veterans memorial that those missing in action, prisoners of war, not forgotten
Date published: 11/13/2012
With advances in medicine, troops who would have perished in previous wars "today are still with us, and that's a blessing," Wittman said. That comes with "an obligation to them to make sure we continue to support them, and that they have what they need to have productive lives."
Wittman mentioned that Marine Sgt. John Peck, who lost both arms and legs in Afghanistan in May 2010, received keys to a new technology-packed home in Spotsylvania Monday.
"Our challenge will be that, as conflicts wane, we never wane in our resolve to support our veterans."
Among the veterans there was Neal D. King, 88, of Spotsylvania County, who served with the Marines in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, where he was shot in June 1968. He smiled and said, "I only got whacked once. All my friends had Purple Hearts, and when I finally got hit, I thought, well, I can sit with them now."
King said no one moment stands out in his 30-year career with the Marines.
"I was in with good organizations. It was a pleasure to be there with good people. I'm still a Marine. I'll never be anything but a Marine."
Rusty Dennen: 540/374-5431
CITY EVENT FEATURES FLYOVER AND MUSIC
Among the events at Monday's gathering in Fredericksburg:
A formation of four aircraft with the Experimental Aircraft Association flew over the memorial, and the Enduring Freedom Honor Team band from Fredericksburg Christian School played military tunes.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, veterans laid wreaths on the grass near.