Veterans Day celebration at Marion, Ill. VFW

Today, we honor those past and present who have served our country
Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 4:41 PM CST
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MARION, Ill. (KFVS) - Dozens of people gathered in Marion at the VFW on Friday morning, November 11 for its annual Veterans Day celebration.

One Vietnam veteran told us he is honored to be there.

“I just wanted to be a part of something that I thought was very important,” said Clarence Caraker, Vietnam veteran.

Caraker said at 19 years old, he felt called to serve our country. He then enlisted into the U.S. Navy in 1972.

“Spent three tours in Vietnam on a ship, I enjoyed my time. I got to see things that a lot of kids will never see and I saw a few things that I wish, I hope, the kids never see,” he said.

During his three tours, he said he felt the brotherhood of military service.

“Very, very close, officers on down to enlisted. I was enlisted, we were very close. When we went in somewhere, we stood together, it didn’t matter if you was an officer or enlisted personnel,” he said.

Military service runs deep in Caraker’s family.

“My grandkids went and I’m very proud,” he said. “I have a stepson that’s 26 years retired Army. His son now is my grandson is a crew chief on a helicopter in the Army.”

Veterans Day is a special holiday for him.

“I was very proud to be serve my country and I am very proud to be a veteran. And I’m proud to be here today because I’m honoring my past veterans,” he added.