Veterans and active military personnel are a special group of people. They give of their time and talent. Some even make the ultimate sacrifice: giving their lives for the country they love. A member of that selfless group, WWII veteran Joseph Eskenazi, recently got the trip of a lifetime.
Joseph is the country’s oldest surviving veteran of the Pearl Harbor attack. At the end of January, Joseph will turn 105 years old. Joseph was sent to New Orleans thanks to actor Gary Sinise and the Soaring Valor Program.
New Orleans is the home of the National World War II Museum.
Prior to leaving for the trip, Joseph was grateful for everyone’s efforts who made the trip possible.
“Quite an occasion for me,” Joseph said to KCAL. “I really appreciate it. All the people that participated in creating this moment.”
Joseph was given a hero’s welcome, according to Fox29 Philadelphia. Many stood outside, lining the sidewalk leading to the museum, waving flags as they greeted Joseph upon his arrival at the WWII museum.
In addition to visiting and touring the museum, Joseph also celebrated his upcoming birthday there. A video posted on Fox29's website shows three women – the Victory Belles- singing happy birthday to Joseph.
The Soaring Valor Program works to bring WWII veterans to the museum established to honor them.
According to the Soaring Valor website, the veterans' experience "includes entertainment, celebratory meals, and community building with their fellow heroes."
Hollywood Actor Expresses Gratitude for Veterans’ Sacrifice
In an interview with Fox11 Los Angeles about Joseph's trip, Gary talked about the importance of veterans.
"Freedom comes at a cost. A price must be paid," Gary said. "We're lucky we have people that'll raise their hand and go out there and defend our country and protect our cities."
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Later in the interview, Gary explained why he is more than happy to help veterans in any way he can.
"As somebody who has benefited from the people who have provided my freedom for me, I've had a great career," he said. "I've done great things, been able to do many, many things. And I feel blessed and honored to be able to take some of that good fortune I've had and pass it on to others and shine a spotlight where it needs to be."
Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
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Featured Image Credit: YouTube/KCAL