Hometown Patriot: Year In Review
military ... we've enjoyed meeting more hometown patriots every week in 20-12. gerry may has a look back at some of them. (trevor with dog) there was trevor cowart of heflin, louisiana ... home for a break ... after a rough deployment to afghanistan ... (rocket zoom, boom!) "whooo!" ... and soon ... another deployment ... volunteering to take the place of a good buddy killed in a motorcycle crash. trevor cowart: "i feel like i owed him that as a good friend, and to lose him, i knew that's what he wanted." world war two fighter pilot john fetzer of shreveport ... who kept flying dangerous combat missions ... even after getting the terrible news of his brother's death in a training crash. accident. john fetzer: "i trained to do this and i'm going to do what i'm supposed to do for my country." luther rone ... living out retirement peacefully at toledo bend. he believes he dropped a bomb that set back germany's bomb program ... before he was shot down and became a world war two p- o-w. luther rone: "undone the harness on the parachute and looked right into the business end of an automatic rifle." chopper pilot clyde french of shreveport ... shot down three times flying into some of the fiercest battles of vietnam. clyde french: "every day i've been home since 1968 has been a blessing because quite frankly i never really considered i'd be coming home." james mcneal of robeline ... who stormed the beaches of france on d-day ... and found religion. james mcneal: "i was so glad to be back and god had been so good to me, i thought i'd better start to church and straighten up a little bit." cleauthor sanders ... originally from mansfield ... breaking racial barriers when he and his brothers from a segregated support regiment ... took up arms and fought alongside whites to help win the battle at saipan. race no longer mattered. cleauthor sanders: "when you're in combat you just try to stay alive." barksdale recovery care coordinator elizabeth melahn ... who fought more than a year of red tape ... to make sure two local guardsmen got the purple heart medals they deserved. (phone hangup) elizabeth melahn: "they wanted to give up.. and i said no i've still got fight in me." (applause as jesse enters) karla sanford ... surprising her 90 year old grandfather and world war two vet ... jese burkheart. karla sanford: "it's for you. you''re going to get some medals tonight, that you never got 70 years ago." jese burkheart: "ohhh." "retiree office, col. d, how can i help you?" 92-year old retired col. steven depyssler .. veteran of three wars ... volunteering every day at barkdales' retiree affairs office. john petterway ... age 101 ... oldest living war veteran in caddo parish. gerry: "how does that feel?" petterway: "tired." 98 year old sterling nipper of emerson, arkansas ... possibly the nation's oldest living combat veteran. sterling nipper: "that's what they tell me." (eddie ray sings: "... your high falootin' friend") and country singer eddie ray franks of waskom ... who was nearly killed in vietnam ... now donating songs to raise money for homeless veterans. (last music note at end of story) we'd like to keep telling stories of hometown patriots in the new year. so if you know one ... tell us about them. just go to ktbs dot come and look under featured projects to nominate them. tatum is up next with all your sports.