• 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

  • Troopers: Remains found likely belong to David Grunwald, 1 teen charged in connection to his death

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 03, 11:55

    Alaska State Troopers say it is likely the remains of missing 16-year-old David Grunwald have been found. Additionally, at least one teenager now faces charges of kidnapping and murder in connection to the case. Human remains were found in the Knik River Road area near Palmer around 2 p.m. on Friday, according to an online […]

  • News

    Electrical fire displaces 3 from Debarr Road home

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 03, 11:20

    A fire displaced three people in East Anchorage early Saturday morning, according to the Anchorage Fire Department. At least a dozen units responded to the fire at the Glacier Terrace Trailer Park, located near 4110 Debarr Road, just after 3 a.m., according to assistant fire Chief Erich Scheunemann. The fire was under control within half […]

  • Police: Man stabbed at Brother Francis Shelter, no suspect identified

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 03, 11:14

    The Anchorage Police Department is investigating a stabbing that occurred at the Brother Francis Shelter early Saturday morning. The stabbing was reported just before 1 a.m., according to a statement from police. “Officers and medics arrived and located an adult male with a single stab wound to the back,” police explained. The victim was treated […]

  • News

    Silver Alert: Troopers seek whereabouts of 89-year-old Fairbanks man

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 03, 10:45

    ANCHORAGE — An 89-year-old man’s disappearance has prompted a Silver Alert from the Alaska Department of Safety. R O’Grady was last seen near the area of Phillips Field Road and Peger Road in Fairbanks, according to the alert, which was issued around 2 a.m. on Saturday. O’Grady is believed to be endangered, Alaska State Troopers […]

  • News

    New details in Juneau officer-involved shooting

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 03, 10:11

    Last updated at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3 The Juneau Police Department has provided new details into the shooting involving two of its officers and a local man. The man was transported to Seattle for treatment after one of the officers shot him, according to police. Juneau police issued a statement about the incident […]

  • Make the Alaska Aces part of your team

    by Dave Leval on Dec 02, 21:01

    Here’s your chance to make Stephen Perfetto part of your team. The Alaska Aces center is one of three from the team on the ballot for the annual Meigray- ECHL Fantasy Team. Left-wingers Garet Hunt and Tim Wallace are also on the ballot. You can only vote once during the period that ends Monday, Dec. […]

  • News

    Bean’s Cafe opens overnight shelter, operated by its own staff

    by Eric Ruble on Dec 02, 20:52

    About 50 people were expected to spend Friday night inside Bean’s Cafe. Executive director Lisa Sauder said the decision was made less than one week ago, after the municipality asked for help in accommodating people who were turned away from places like Brother Francis Shelter due to high demand. “The need is great. The temperatures […]

  • Lawmakers, school board consider alternative approach to classroom discipline

    by Liz Raines on Dec 02, 20:35

    School suspensions may become a thing of the past. Lawmakers and school board members are looking at a different approach to student discipline statewide. National studies have found that, for many incarcerated adults, their pathway to jail started with frequent suspensions in school. The trend is now known as the School-to-Prison Pipeline. Educators statewide are trying […]