• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 21s

Pride surrounds Alaska vets

By Joe Vigil 9:07 PM May 8, 2014
WASHINGTON D.C. –

More than 4,000 miles, two days of travel and 70 years in the making. Alaska’s World War II veterans finally got to see what many say the country should have built for them a half-century ago — a memorial honoring their services and sacrifices.

People at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., proved to Alaska vets that the greatest generation is not the forgotten generation.

Pride once again surrounded Alaska vets. People swarmed around them like bees to honey.

No group was left behind Thursday, including those who served and have since died in the Alaska Territorial Guard.

They remembered guard member John Norbert Sr. from Nome and honored John Bennett Sr., who was too ill to take the trip.

The Territorial Guard protected Alaska’s coast from a Japanese invasion. However, the government wouldn’t pay them and even denied them veteran’s rights like health care until 2000. David Leavitt Sr. and Wesley Aiken are the last two remaining Territorial Guard members from Barrow.

We are free, but the memorial is also a reminder of loss. More than 290,000 U.S. service members died in combat.

Wasilla World War II vet Eldon Gallear lost most of his crew when his ship was torpedoed and sunk near Cuba in 1944. He was plucked from a life raft in shark-infested waters.

“I have a lot of mixed emotions, I’ll tell you that,” Gallear said.

Gallear has lost sleep over the sacrifice of the 9,000 other Merchant Marines he says were taken at war.

“Them guys, most of them were kids like me. But they were man enough to go down with them,” he said.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Crews work to contain Millers Reach Road wildfire near Big Lake

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Aug 30, 15:51

    Crews are working to contain a fire, located off Millers Reach Road north of Big Lake. Early Sunday afternoon, authorities were alerted to the fire. It has reached about 10 acres and is 100-percent active, as of 3:30 p.m. Sunday, according to Norm MacDonald with the state’s Division of Forestry. Helicopters are assisting in the containment efforts […]

  • Crime

    Man stabbed in face after altercation in downtown Anchorage

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Aug 30, 15:05

    Police say a young adult male suffered a severe stab wound to his face early Sunday morning after an altercation in downtown Anchorage. Around 2:40 a.m. the Anchorage Police Department received a report of a possible stabbing near Seventh Avenue and D Street. It was reported to police that a group of males got into a […]

  • News

    President Obama to announce renaming of Mount McKinley to Denali

    by Sierra Starks on Aug 30, 13:01

    During his trip to Alaska, President Barack Obama will announce that the federal government has officially restored the name of Denali to the mountain previously known as Mount McKinley. “Today, finalizing a process initiated by the State of Alaska in 1975, President Obama is announcing that the Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell used her […]

  • Lifestyle

    1st weekend of Alaska State Fair kicks off with parade

    by Eric Ruble on Aug 30, 11:52

    The first weekend of the Alaska State Fair kicked off with a parade in downtown Palmer. Forty-five different floats traveled down South Alaska Street, each stopping for 30 seconds at the grandstand to be judged by a panel. Groups from around Southcentral Alaska created their own unique floats that were dispersed between tractors and dozens […]

  • Crime

    Man charged in East Anchorage double homicide

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Aug 30, 10:37

    Anchorage police have arrested and charged a man in a double homicide that occurred in January. Michael Dorell Kelvin Reynold, 22, was taken into custody on Saturday in connection with the shooting deaths of 27-year-old Christian Haynes and 23-year-old Krystal Hawk, according to a release from the Anchorage Police Department. Haynes and Hawk, a couple, were […]

  • News

    Dillingham plans to voice erosion concerns during President Obama’s visit

    by Emily Carlson on Aug 29, 18:50

    When Dillingham residents are asked what their land means to them, the answer is simple — it’s home. Many fear that, due to erosion, they will not only lose their land but also the culture that’s been built upon those shores.

  • News

    Gov. Walker to fly with President Obama to Alaska

    by Associated Press on Aug 29, 13:15

    Gov. Bill Walker will fly to Alaska with President Barack Obama on Monday. Walker’s office announced in a release Saturday that Walker will accompany the president aboard Air Force One from Washington, D.C. The president will address a State Department global warming conference Monday afternoon in Anchorage. He also has visits planned in Seward, Dillingham […]

  • Crime

    UPDATE: Suspect sought in connection with 1 of the overnight shootings in Anchorage

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Aug 29, 8:03

    Anchorage police say two men were injured in shootings that happened in the overnight hours between Friday and Saturday. APD is now seeking a suspect, Michael Sharp, in connection with one of those shootings. On Friday, officers went to two homes in response to a verbal altercation between three people, a 23-year-old woman, her 23-year […]