VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Wednesday, a local veteran took in the sights at the Military Aviation Museum, remembering his time in service from nearly 80 years ago.
Surrounded by memorabilia from his Army days, Sgt. Whitaker Bernard Ham remembered the moment he found out he was going to war.
“In 1946, I was drafted out of high school, Woodrow Wilson High School," Ham said. “I started crying."
Sgt. Ham served in the 7th Armored Division. On Wednesday, Ham toured the museum, guided by a fellow veteran, Roy "Flash" Gordon.
“Every day their ranks get smaller, and to have him here and see his eyes light up, looking at these airplanes from the time period that he served, was just a wonderful, gratifying thing to see,” Gordon said.
Ham is a living piece of history, passing his stories to future generations. He recalls the first time he met his first sergeant.
“He said, 'Stick close to me,' that’s what he said, 'Stick close to me.' He had many years of experience and I was just a rookie,” Ham said.
He also told News 3 he always tried to find a piano to play — even in a war zone.
“I would play a lot of American songs, which they hadn’t heard in years,” Ham said.
The 95-year-old reminds us all why his generation is truly the greatest.
“His experience, his service is a legacy, and he’s a role model, and he’s a national treasure, let’s face it,” Gordon said.
For more information on the Military Aviation Museum, click here.