Saluting The Disappearing Warriors

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Bob Hodkinson still has shrapnel in his shoulder from the Korean War.

"It's a regular weather vane. I can tell when storms are coming," he said.

If you get a chance to talk to a veteran of Korea or World War II, listen closely.

They are disappearing fast. 

Watertown VFW Post 1400 has lost a half dozen of them so far this year.

"So naturally there's few and fewer all the time and the younger people these days are not really joining these organizations," said Nic Luciani, a Vietnam veteran.

In fact, about 75 percent of the remaining members of the post are 75 years old or older.

"We get new young people in, thank God, but our numbers will get smaller," said Jerry Tighe, Post 1400 commander.

The newer generation of warriors has organizations of its own - not to say the younger soldiers have forgotten their older brethren.

"there's a sense of awe and reverence, but there's also a sense of kindredship and brotherhood because they are my brothers in arms," said Lieutenant Colonel Michael Oeschger, 10th Mountain Division.

But, as time marches on, the ranks will get thinner and thinner.

"You wonder when your number is coming up," said Hodkinson.

Making it harder and harder for some time-honored traditions to stay alive.

Saturday, April 19, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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