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Former Marines remember their own at veterans hospital - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Former Marines remember their own at veterans hospital

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SHREVEPORT, La -

As we send out a happy belated 238th birthday to the U.S. Marine Corps, we meet some former Marines who make it their mission that their ailing comrades are not forgotten.

Every week, a group of men from the local Marine Corps League march through the halls of Shreveport's Overton Brooks Veterans Administration Medical Center. They have a list of fellow former Marines or Purple Heart recipient from any branch they'll go visit.

"We come to let them know someone's thinking about them," says Mike Thornton. "Talk to them about things they can identify with. Military experience in one form or another."

Ken Moffett says the visits lift his own spirit "when you go in there and you can lift someone's spirit and have them for those few moments that you're in there to see them excited."

None of the patients the guys visited when KTBS was there wanted our camera in there. They just wanted the Marines.

"They're in a bad situation because they're here," explains Bill Braidwood. "Once the Marines are in there, you get 'em laughing, we know we've done something."

"One of those guys seemed hesitant to talk with us," Willie Wynn said of a fellow Vietnam War veteran. "But once we got in there and found out he was from Vietnam and could identify some of the places he had been and what he had done, he just perked right up."

The patients may not have anyone else to come visit them.

"You feel like your giving back, you know, doing something for somebody," says Dave Gavin. "It's a great experience. I've done it for 10 years now."

"I think it makes them feel real good. It makes me feel good," says Al Peterman. "I probably get more out of it than they do."

That's also the case for Ray Urban, a World War II veteran who walks with a cane and has a fractured lumbar. He's thankful that he's still able to walk in to see his ailing brothers.

"From Agent Orange, to lost limbs, to whatever infirmities they may have, the good Lord has blessed me," Urban says.

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