Veterans reunion begins Friday

Southwest Iwo Jima WWII conference kicks off Friday. Source: KAUZ
Southwest Iwo Jima WWII conference kicks off Friday. Source: KAUZ

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - World War II veterans from all over the country are in Wichita Falls for the Southwest Iwo Jima WWII reunion.

Veterans from as far away as California have made their way to celebrate the three-day event, but as the years go on, the organization is starting to see fewer vets.

The conference was founded in 1991 as a way to honor the men who fought for our country in Iwo Jima and World War II.

"It's like having 15 sets of grandparents descending on me for the weekend," said Lynnette Brown, board president.  "I love every one of them.  I have gotten to know so many of them personally."

The weekend lets the veterans share their stories with the community of their time in service.

"We have about 15 veterans," said Brown.  "Every once in a while we get some stragglers in from around Wichita Falls."

One veteran is Hershal "Woody" Williams, who was given a medal of honor in 2016.

"We wear the medal on behalf of those who did not get to come home," said Williams.  "We wear it for those who gave their lives so we can be free."

In 2017, two veterans on the conference board passed away.

Brown said they see fewer every year, which is why she wants everyone to honor the men while they still can.

"They love to tell their stories and get it out," said Brown.  "We just don't want their stories to end with their passing."

Brown wants anyone who comes out to see these men for the heroes they are.

"They are apart of our generation, and we love them," said Brown.

The event runs from Friday morning to Sunday.  Tickets to the Saturday night dinner can be purchased by calling (940) 733-3735.

For a schedule of events, click here.

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