World War II veteran preparing for Honor Flight

Posted at: 06/02/2014 5:21 PM
Updated at: 06/02/2014 5:48 PM
By: Devin Neeley, KOB Eyewitness News 4

World War II was fought by the very tough men and women from what is called the greatest generation. Many were lost during the war, and any more since then. But for the ones left, it was a special time.

"In the Navy, the La Vallette, I was on a destroyer," said Martin Johnson of his service.

He served his country, starting just a week after he graduated high school. The ship he served on was damaged by a mine and was only narrowly missed by a kamikaze pilot.

"Made the first invasion on the Marshall islands, then we came back and resupplied at pearl harbor and then we went down to the tip of new guinea, and worked our way up to the Philippians," said Johnson. He had plenty of stories about that time in his life.

All Johnson says is that he served his country.

The modest 90-year-old quartermaster second class, from Raton, now makes his home in Farmington and Wednesday will be heading to Washington, D.C., on an 'Honor Flight'.

"It's a great honor and I appreciate it," he said.

The Honor Flight program sends World War II veterans to see the World War II monument in Washington, D.C., free of charge. Johnson is glad he will have the chance to see the memorial to people he served with, but always remembers those that are serving in the armed forces now.

"Right now, everybody in the service is volunteers, who are giving up a heck of a lot to protect us," he said.