• 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

  • Sports

    Ryne Olson claims win in Copper Basin 300

    by Dave Goldman on Jan 16, 21:09

    If you follow trends, this was a no-brainer. In the past two years, Ryne Olson has taken third and second place at the Copper Basin 300 sled dog race. Like a blue chip, which grows slowly and consistently over time, this one found its highest point yet. Now you can call her a Copper Basin 300 champion. […]

  • Politics

    ‘It’s time to pull together’: Alaskans plan to attend Women’s March on Washington

    by Eric Ruble on Jan 16, 19:36

    The final preparations are underway for President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration in Washington, D.C. on Friday. However, a few hundred thousand people are expected to participate in a separate event happening the next day in the nation’s capital. The purpose of the Women’s March on Washington – according to its organizers – is to send a […]

  • News

    Red Cross volunteers install free smoke detectors for MLK Day

    by Shannon Ballard on Jan 16, 19:09

    Martin Luther King Jr. Day not only honors the life and legacy of the legendary civil rights leader, it also offers opportunities to translate his words into action. On Monday, that sense of volunteerism and community was felt in the South Park Estates trailer park off Arctic Boulevard. A group of about a dozen people with […]

  • News

    City says public can help snow-plowing operation go more smoothly

    by Lauren Maxwell on Jan 16, 18:58

    City crews will be working around the clock to get the latest snow plowed. Anchorage street maintenance director Alan Czajkowski said the plan is to continue to work to clear main roads and then get into local neighborhoods, possibly as early as Monday evening. Czajkowski said there are several things Anchorage residents can do to […]

  • Lifestyle

    Businesses cash in on winter snow storms

    by Heather Hintze on Jan 16, 18:37

    As the flakes kept falling Monday, there was no business like snow business. It was all hands on deck for Alaska Snow Removal (ASR) crews as the inches accumulated. Their first priority was plowing tarmacs at the airport, a job that hasn’t been plentiful the past few winters. “We’ve been sanding quite a bit throughout […]

  • News

    Woman killed in hit-and-run identified by family members

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 16, 18:37

    Family members have identified the woman killed in Saturday’s hit-and-run collision as Anchorage resident Ida Jackson. Anchorage police have not publicly confirmed the victim’s identity. They said in a Nixle alert that she was walking in the roadway along Elmore Road early Saturday morning when a Chevrolet Sonic struck her. She had died from her injuries […]

  • Politics

    Optimism, eagerness among Alaska’s newest legislators

    by Associated Press on Jan 16, 13:52

    Among Alaska’s newest legislators, there is optimism and an eagerness to get to work on addressing the state’s multibillion-dollar budget deficit. Rep.-elect George Rauscher of Sutton says he’s “pretty jazzed” about the legislative session opening Tuesday. Rauscher, who last year upset incumbent Rep. Jim Colver, a fellow Republican, says he anticipates legislators getting something accomplished […]

  • Lifestyle

    Can caffeine perk up heart health, too?

    by Amy Norton / Health Day / CBS on Jan 16, 13:48

    The caffeine in your morning cup of joe may do more than jolt you awake — it may also help dampen the type of inflammation that’s linked to heart disease risk factors, a new study suggests. Researchers found that an inflammatory mechanism was dialed up in certain older adults, but not others. When it was […]