Weston veteran shares message of remembrance - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Weston veteran shares message of remembrance

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Memorial Day honors all the brave men and women who served the country. For every veteran, the day means something a little different.

Vietnam veteran Marty Sullivan of Weston says the meaning of the day has changed for him throughout the years. Sullivan says he remembers celebrating Memorial Day as a young boy with his father, who served in World War II.

"We would go see the parade as well as the speeches and the 21 gun salute," said Sullivan.

Now a veteran himself, he says the day has an entirely different meaning.

"You remember the ones most that aren't with us that died in combat and that's the real purpose of the day," he said.

Sullivan served during the Vietnam War in the Navy. On a destroyer, he participated in gunfire raids on the coast of Vietnam.

"We had to go against the shore batteries and they went back at us," he said.

He shared his story as the guest speaker at a Memorial Day ceremony at Restlawn Memorial Park in Wausau.

While he says its hard to talk about it, he wants others to understand the cost of war.

"Freedom is not free, it's earned and every generation has to fight for it to keep it," said Sullivan.

It's a message that hit close to home for other veterans in attendance.

"I lost two good friends not barely 20 years old," said Conrad Schepp, an Air Force Veteran. "I lost them in Vietnam."

"Those are the real heroes," said Jerry Hanson, a Marines Veteran. "We came back. They didn't."

It's those sacrifices younger generations say they've come to appreciate. Sullivan says he hopes people continue to remember all those who served.

"Freedom has an incredible price to pay and many men and women have paid that price," said Sullivan.

Sullivan says he hopes on Memorial Day that people also think of all the soldiers currently fighting.

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