Our veterans should be the most respected citizens and we should never miss a chance to thank them for their service and their sacrifice. That is why stories like that of Raymond Duncan, a veteran who turned 100 years old a few days ago, brings smile on my face and makes me extremely happy.
The birthday of Staff Sgt. Duncan from Oklahoma was celebrated by the whole community and a great number of people who gathered to wish him all the best.
Duncan was a member of the 487th Bomb Group and led the largest Eighth Air Force mission of the war on December 24, 1944, which involved more than 2,000 bombers on airfields and communication sites in western Germany.
Speaking to the ABC News station Koko, Duncan spoke of that mission and said a day doesn’t pass by without him thinking of that day when his life and that of the fellow soldiers was spared after a bomb went off over their base a second too late.
“I was in World War II. My airplane led the largest air raid during World War II over Germany, Dec. 24, 1944,” the veteran said. “And I’ve been honored by three presidents for that service.”
“When I came back and worked at Tinker Air Force Base for 27 years, I hear one of those engines fire and chills ran through me.”
Sadly, 235 group members didn’t make it back home and gave their life for the country. Their deed should never be forgotten. Duncan said how the soldiers didn’t really try to make friends while deployed because they never knew “who was coming back and who wasn’t.”
Duncan received many awards for his bravery, among which a Presidential Unit Citation and Good Conduct Ribbon.
Thank you Mr. Duncan for everything you’ve done for America. We wish you a very happy birthday and many more to come.