MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Jack Bonner graduated high school in 1963 and knew he was ready for something bigger. At just 17 years old, Bonner enlisted in the Army. And months later, he found himself fighting in Vietnam. But since he returned home, he's dedicated his time to supporting other veterans like him, who have helped to keep this country safe.
"If it wasn't for veterans, today, we would be speaking German or Japanese," Bonner says. "They would've come over here and taken our country. We went overseas and defeated them in the name of our nation and in honor of our flag."
Bonner is the entertainment committee chairman and chaplain for VFW Post 79. He's been with the organization for nearly 30 years.
"Jack is a real hard worker, and I think he's like me, belongs to most every veteran organization, but he picked VFW to be the prime one," VFW Post 79 trustee Leroy Morse says.
The group puts on fundraisers and community events - all aimed at giving back to others and representing what it truly means to serve this country.
"We're very, very much alive and we honor our country and our veterans," Bonner says. "We're proud of what we've done. We're proud of what our veterans now are doing."
It's been a tough journey to showcase that pride for the men and women who haven't always been met with appreciation. But Bonner and his fellow vets continue to push forward.
"Veterans, we get more respect now than we used to," Morse says. "For a while, veterans weren't respected too much. But they are now, and after all, we're the ones that fought for this country."
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