Local WWII Veteran Shares His Story

Local WWII Veteran Shares His Story

For Veterans Day the nation says "thank you" to the men and women who have served in the country's armed forces.

Newschannel 6 sat down with a local veteran who says Veterans Day holds a special place in his heart.

"We hauled 7,000 troops over 44,000 miles at 13 knots," said World War II Veteran James Magers.  "During the war, we were torpedo bait."

It's been more than 70 years since Electra resident James Magers stepped foot onto his war ship, but the memories are still there.

"I volunteered on my 18th birthday, February 5, 1944," Magers said.

Now 89 years old, his time as a 3rd Class Bosun Mate in WWII is one Magers says he'll never forget.

"I remember one thing our chaplain said, he said 'May god have mercy on our soul,'" Magers said.

Iwo Jima was also the only U.S. Marine battle where the American casualties exceeded the Japanese.

"I remember being wet for nine days," said Magers.

As Magers looks back over pictures from his time in the Navy, he can't help but be grateful for where he is today.

"If people don't appreciate what our military is doing today they need to serve a little while," Magers said. "All of us gave some of our lives but some gave all."

While James was away, his girlfriend at the time, Rama, says she wrote him letters everyday. A little more than year after James returned back to the states, they got married. They have been married for 68 years.