Fond memories of the service brought back in The Hamptons senior living Veterans Day Program

Published on Friday, 10 November 2017 20:40 - Written by BRIANNA HARMON, bharmon@tylerpaper.com

A sense of pride flowed through The Hamptons at Greenridge senior living home in Tyler during its Veterans Day program Friday.

Tears were in the eyes of residents and Activity Director Hannah McMillan as Raquelle Langinais sang the national anthem. Tyler Police Department members posted the colors.

Greg Latham, the speaker, discussed the experiences of his family in the military. Latham has a son serving in Germany and another in Afghanistan.

“I couldn’t be more proud of both of their accomplishments and their service,” Latham said. “I know you too have people proud of you for your service. You’re dear to all of us.”

Latham also showed his respect to families of service members

“The family of a service member is just as commendable,” he said. “We thank you very much for your service and the commitments you have made.”

Thomas Tyler, 97, attended the program. Tyler served in the Marine Corps from 1940 to 1946.

While he was serving in Iceland, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

Tyler said his greatest achievement was being one of the soldiers who took Guam back from the enemy.

“I was really happy,” Tyler said. “Those people (in Guam) were the happiest people in the world because they had been under America for years, then Japan took it away from them.”

Tyler said he loved the program.

“It was a wonderful, great and uplifting to me to be in this program,” he said. “I think it did me a lot of good. I was kind of down in the dumps and this bonked me out of it. I feel like I’m a free American again. It did a lot for me, I can guarantee that.”

Tyler’s driving factor to join the Marines stemmed from when he was in the Boy Scouts.

“I wanted to do what I could for my country,” Tyler said. “I live by scouts honor, On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”

Chuck Calahan also was at the program. Calahan served in the military over 23 years.

Calahan’s said his service in the Army started in 1946. He was sent to Okinawa as part of an engineer battalion.

“You see a lot of the old geezers around here. We are dying off but this just brings back memories, a lot of the good and some of the bad,” Calahan said.