Among the more than 50 veterans ready to hop aboard the Barons Bus for a trip to Washington D.C., there was 94-year-old veteran Jim Prusa.
“We were interrogated 3 to 4 times a day,” he said, recalling the memories.
“We were then taken to an ancient dungeon about 2 stories below ground.”
Going from talking to silence, the room began to sit still, as the World War II vet, told his story of his days as a prisoner of war.
“I really enjoy listening to and hearing those stories of what they went through from that standpoint,” said David Strittmather, a member of Amvets in Vermillion, the group Prusa is traveling with to the nation’s Capitol.
Prusa is the last living veteran from the 10 soldiers he was deployed with at that time, making his trip to D.C. all the more memorable, as he’ll be placing a wreath on the war monument.
“It can be a little emotional because you remember all your old buddies that are no longer with us, other than that, just an honor to do it,” said Prusa.
But that’s not the only thing making this trip special.
“On Sunday, November 12, he’s celebrating his 95 birthday,” said Strittmather.
Jim is turning 95 years old and in his honor, the group will throw him a surprise birthday bash while on the trip. While in Washington D.C. the Vermillion AmVets will be placing wreaths on the Vietnam and World War II monuments.
They’ve been taking the trip since the late 90s.