Hattiesburg Veterans talk about first Honor Flight trip

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -   Two World War ll Veterans, Royce Nations and Dr. Betty
Drake, are among 90 veterans to board the Inaugural Flight of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Honor Flight to our nation's capital to visit the World War ll Memorial.

"We are in our late 80s and early 90s. It may be the last opportunity we have to see those memorials," said Nation.

Nation, volunteered to be selected in the draft when he was only a junior in high school.

"I chose the Navy, and later was selected out of that group of the navy to be in the Marine Corps and that is how I became a Marine," said Nation.

Nation says he didn't serve over seas, but he did finish school while he was a Marine and owes his degree to the military.

"I went to school under the G. I. Bill of Rights and got my profession, and later became a Vice President and CFO of a television station in Denver," said Nation.

Dr. Betty Drake was a senior in high school when World War ll began. Drake says with no opportunities in sight she decided to become a Marine.

"They claim they are the best. So, I thought if you are going to join might as well join the best," said Drake.

Drake says she didn't give becoming a marine a second thought.

"I have a very strong belief that women have an obligation to this country. There is no reason for women who have the capabilities to sit back, and let the men go out and die for them to leave comfortably," said Drake.

Neither Nation nor Drake served over seas during World War ll, but that does not take away the pride they feel for their service.

"It's a pride you carry all your life," said Drake.

Nation, Drake and several other veterans will carry that pride all the way to Washington, D.C. for what is surely to be a memorable trip.

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