CBS 19 meets local WWII veteran, once prisoner of war - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

CBS 19 meets local WWII veteran, once prisoner of war

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TYLER (KYTX) -  It's a rare and incredible look into the life of one of our nation's heroes. It happened at a special event Thursday at the Watkins-Logan Texas State Veteran's Home.

A CBS 19 crew got to sit down with an East Texas veteran, who was once a prisoner of war. 

90-year-old Army Air Force veteran Richard David Carter spends most of his days holding onto the hand of his loving wife, Mary.

"We've been married 50 years," she smiles.

She says it's a miracle he has lived to see this day. At 19 years old, during WWII, he was taken as a prisoner of war.

"He was shot down over France on his 13th mission. He was captured and taken to Stalag 17B, a German prison camp. He was there for 14 months and 15 days," she says.

It was 15 years after Carter was liberated, that he met the love of his life, Mary.

"He never talked about his war experiences, and that's one thing I regret is not encouraging him to talk about it more," she says.

Carter now suffers from Alzheimer's and cannot communicate, but his story of bravery and sacrifice still continue to touch those around him.

"I am positive that [his story] is extremely rare," says Veteran's Home Coordinator Linda Reed, who helps take care of Carter.

"It's amazing the stories that we get, not only from him but from all of our veterans," she says.

It was 6 or 7 months ago that Carter moved to the veteran's home, where he has found not only health care, but also comradery.

"Every time I come in, it's just like I'm at home," Mary Carter says about the veteran's home.

The other residents had no idea he was a POW, until Thursday's veteran's picnic, hosted by Brookeshire's and the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

Carter and his wife were presented with an award for his service.

"I'll hang it on his wall in his room," Mary says proudly.

A big honor for a man, who makes our country proud.

"That red white and blue is all over this community," Reed says. "We should celebrate that every day of the year."

Richard and Mary Carter spent most of their life in Henderson. They have two children, three grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.

Friday we honor people like him, during National POW-MIA Recognition Day. 

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