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'We were put on a 30 minute alert until President Eisenhower said we will not go'

Jack Horn

Three dozens veterans who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam leave May 11 on an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C.

KVAL News anchor David Walker and photojournalist Loren Ruark will be with them.

Watch =#LiveOnKVAL at 6 p.m. this week to meet veterans taking part. Starting May 11, watch at 5 & 6 p.m. for live Honor Flight reports.

EUGENE, Ore. - Jerry Horn was 17 when he joined the Army in 1954.

"I really grew up in the service, so to speak, from being a kid because I hadn't really been away from home," he said.

Jerry trained in combat engineering in Fort Leonard, Missouri.

"I took my basic down at Fort Ord, California. We were sent to Germany," he recalled. "We got to Germany, it didn't matter what you were trained in, you went in the Army in the foot soldier part of it."

Jerry was assigned to a pick and ax platoon.

"My job was to dig fox holes for the battalion officers," he said. "I got to dig 3 for them and 1 for me, and that was the whole platoon's job is digging fox holes for the important people in the battalion."

He didn't really like that, so Jerry got a license to drive Jeep and was transfered to another platoon.

"I was in Germany when Israel bombed the Suez Canal," he said.

"We were put on a 30 minute alert until President Eisenhower said we will not go. We had all our equipment loaded in our vehicles."

As he prepares for the Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., Jerry said he is looking forward to seeing the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

"Every time I hear 'Taps' it brings tears to my eyes because another fallen hero has died," he said. "I don't care. They don't have to do something spectacular to be a hero to me. If they served in the service, I don't care what branch, they were still a hero in my book."

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