HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Hundreds of veterans turned out for the Harrisburg Senators 6th Annual Veterans Celebration on Sunday.
The event was filled to capacity. Those who served our country took in the game and enjoyed the camaraderie only they can know.
“The airplanes were coming over all of us, dropping bombs,” U.S. Army veteran Cpl. David Waters Sr. said.
Shrapnel hit the World War II veteran’s hands. Some people in Germany did not accept him because he’s African American.
“I was still nice and helped everyone,” David said.
ABC27 News asked the 93-year-old veteran the secret to his success.
“Good women and good whiskey,” he said.
David is only joking because he doesn’t drink or smoke. He took in the Harrisburg Senators game with his son, who’s a Vietnam War veteran.
“A lot of folks don’t understand what folks experienced during wartime,” U.S. Air Force Chief Melvin Waters Sr. said.
Someone who knows wartime all too well is retired U.S. Army Air Force Sgt. First Class Raymond Sterner. He’s 90 years young and served in World War II.
“We went out on some rescues for planes that have crashed,” Sterner said. “It was foggy, and it was a pass in the mountains. They missed it, so we had to go find them. Luckily, we didn’t hit it, so we brought back the bodies.”
The two World War II veterans became instant friends and had a connection knowing the reality of combat firsthand.
“Every time I see a veteran and I know he’s a veteran, I go up and put my hand on his shoulder,” Sterner said. “I talk to him and say, ‘Thank you, brother.’ I think it’s great that brothers can get together.”
“I just wanted to thank all of my fellow veterans for their service whether it be in World War II, Korea, Vietnam,” Melvin said. “It was a pleasure serving with them.”
The Senators worked the W&L Sales Company to host the free picnic at FNB Field for veterans and their families, which began at 5:30 p.m. They got to see the Harrisburg Senators play at 6:30 p.m.