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Local World War II veterans remember Pearl Harbor

By: Morgan Downing Email
By: Morgan Downing Email

BONHAM, TX -- Many local veterans fought in World War II, and will never forget the battles they faced while fighting for our country

"I remember it if it was yesterday. I was in the Bess theater up here in Bonham, and at the end of the show they started showing Pearl Harbor getting bombed and everything. And I thought it was a darn movie coming on. That's how dumb I was," veteran Jack Burk said.

"It was a shock to me that they were going to attack," veteran Edward Bowman said.

"I was at home listening to the news and radio, what have you I guess, on that day Pearl Harbor was attacked," veteran William Washerleski said.

William Washerleski was just one of thousands of young men who were drafted in, leaving their families behind to fight for their country.

"My company got hooked up with General Patton. I escorted his convoys from wherever they unloaded the ship, to the front," Washerleski said.

These men put their lives on the line every second.

"Somebody got on that building, said yap yap yap, and everybody started running. And I run out the back, hit the clothesline and knocked my helmet off and so I run and got behind a tree and they shot six or eight times, and just me, hugging that tree," Bowman said.

Bonham native, Jack Burk, was just 17-years-old when the war broke out. He felt the call to serve.

"I wanted to go. I wanted to go when I was 17-years-old, but I couldn't," Burk said.

Just as soon as he turned 18, Burk enlisted in the Army.

"The first thing that we did was lay a mine field for the 101st Airborne. everything was going pretty good until the 19th day of December," he said.

On that day, during the Battle of the Bulge, Burk and the rest of his troop had a mission to blow up bridges. He lost part of his foot. Wounded and unable to fight, his time in the war was over. He received a purple heart for his service.

These men all say when it comes to fighting for our country, they'd do it all again.

"I'd do the same thing I'd done the first time I went in, the first date, if they wanted me to," Burk said.

Jack Burk will be one of the veterans honored at this years Armed Forces Bowl Game in Fort Worth on December 29th.


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