Veterans living in retirement home honored

LANSING, Mich. (WSYM) - Veterans living in a Mid-Michigan retirement home were recognized for their service in some of the most significant wars in the past 80 years.

FOX 47's Cryss Walker was at the ceremony and talked with a World War II veteran about some of his memories.

World War II veteran Robert Beckwith spent four years on sea as a United States Coast Guard from 1941 to 1945.

“Time we spent away from home, something you don't enjoy. You're serving your country”, Beckwith said.

The veteran told Cryss Walker there were some dark days on board, after going long periods without seeing land or his family; but he says he was committed to his job as a cook and kept everyone on the ship fed.

“I didn't make any decisions, my decision was making food for the crew”, Beckwith said as he explained with laughter.

Many times during his moments of recollection the Coast Guard would close his eyes and then become silent.

His daughter Sarah Pease says sometimes the memories are too hard to share.

But then there are some moments Pease says her father expresses with joy, like the year of 1945 when he came home and anchored on the San Francisco coast.

“He looked up and there was a triple rainbow, so he knew that his service had not been in vain and that the rest of his life would be wonderful”, Pease said.

And then in 1946, joy came by the bundle.

“I'm the product of his homecoming, that's what he always told me”, Pease said to Cryss Walker as she described the memory while laughing.

The 98-year-old father of five was honored Friday night for the years that he spent on that ship, leaving his family behind to sail away and serve his country.

Friday Bickford of West Lansing honored 14 veterans who served in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.