85- year old Dayton Marricle served 19 months in the US Navy during World War Two. He remembers fighting in the battle of Okinawa and his unit shooting down 58 enemy suicide planes in one night. However, despite all he did for our country, he does not consider himself a hero.
"It was just something we had to do and that was it, for an old farm boy who had never been 100 miles away from home," Marricle said.
Last year, Marricle got a call from his brother Tommy telling him there was an opportunity for them to travel to Washington D.C. "America Supports You Texas" takes World War Two veterans to the nation's capitol to visit the memorials that stand to honor them. The trip is all-expenses paid and they travel to the WWII, Korean, and Vietnam memorials just to name a few. Marricle had never been, so he applied and was accepted.
"A young guy asked me if I was excited and I told him there ain't no way you can excite an old man," Marricle said.
However, Marricle was mistaken. Although his trip was only about 22 hours, he recalls a moving experience filled with patriotism and pride. He says he has never been treated better in his life. He was especially fond of the time he spent at Arlington National Cemetery, honoring his fallen comrades.
"Arlington cemetery, if you've never been, that's a site to see," Marricle said.
Although his time in D.C. was memorable, it's the company he shared it with that was most important to Marricle. His brother Tommy was a WWII veteran as well and made the journey with him. Sadly, Tommy passed away last month, but Marricle will remember the time they shared together forever.
Marricle says he's thankful for the generations that have followed in his footsteps.
"I appreciate what the kids are doing these days and they're going through more Hell then we did, I really think that," Marricle said.
Overall, Marricle is glad he went and will remember the trip for the rest of his life.
"I'd go again… If a man has the opportunity to do it, don't hesitate, just do it," Marricle said.
WWII veterans across the South Plains are invited to attend the first trip out of Lubbock in October, they just need to apply. If you are interested in applying or would like to donate to the organization, please visit www.americasupportsyoutexas.org
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