BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) – Earlier this month a local World War II veteran took a trip to New Orleans to visit the National World War II Museum.
Brazos County resident Joe Ferreri is a 102-year-old World War II Navy veteran. During the war, he was stationed in San Diego where he worked on the motors of battleships. He was one of 18 World War II veterans who went on the trip organized by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Every veteran was required to have a sponsor accompany them on the trip for Ferreri it was his daughter Susan.
The Veterans traveled to New Orleans on a bus that received a police escort along the way. During stops, they would be greeted by people wanting to take pictures with them and shake their hands.
“They attended to every person on that trip,” Ferreri said. “Everybody had what they wanted. They all got attention. I didn’t see a single person get unattended that’s why I’d like to go back on the trip.”
Ferreri said he was excited to see tanker ships that were used during the war being pulled apart and reconstructed inside the museum for all to see.
“It was amazing what they’re putting in, big beautiful things showing how we won World War II and I loved that,” Ferreri said. “It’s like God came in and put it in.”
Veterans were also treated to a movie inside the museum, a dinner cruise, and a swamp tour. Ferreri said his favorite moment on the trip was watching the alligators rise up from the water next to the boat.
“Everybody was so excited on the boat I thought half of them were going to jump in and I was laughing and laughing everybody was laughing,” Ferreri said.
Veterans went home with a certificate presented by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, a scarf knitted by museum volunteers, and a mail bag filled with letters and coloring pages from children.
Michael Foy Day, Veterans of Foreign Wars State Chaplin said he remembers the look of joy on their faces as they read the letters on the bus ride home.
“Our greatest generation, our public needs to know that,” Foy Day said. “It’s their time, to make sure that we say thank you.”
Plans are already underway for a third trip and the Veterans of Foreign Wars will be selling paintings made by veterans in the Montgomery County jail, Foy Day said.
“We welcome any World War II veterans and their sponsors, usually it’s a family member, but it’s a memory for those two because it might be the last memory for that veteran,” Foy Day said.
As for Joe Ferreri, he’s already looking forward to the next trip.
“It’s too bad it’s only that long, and just maybe someday later I can go again somehow,” Ferreri said.
Last month a BBQ fundraiser for the trip was held at Bryan VFW Post 4692. Ellen Fuller, Wreath Across America Brazos Valley volunteer co-chair said there are plans to hold another BBQ fundraiser however the date hasn’t been decided.
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