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Local Pearl Harbor survivors group donates last dollars to military members in need

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Posted at 1:08 PM, Jan 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-27 20:19:36-05

J.E.B. LITTLE CREEK FORT STORY, Va. - “Planes were very, very tight over us, and I was having a blast because I loved planes.”

A two-year-old's innocent perspective of one of the darkest days in U.S. history.

That's how old Sue Rice was on December 7, 1941 when she was in her backyard, a stone's throw from Pearl Harbor.

She's heard the stories her entire life. How her dad rushed out of their house and back to base when the bombs started falling.

“They grabbed repeating rifles and they went on top of a bunker and fired at the airplanes. I think my dad spent the next four days pulling people out of the water. He never really talked much about that," Rice recalled.

Today, she's one of the few remaining members of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association's Tidewater Chapter, which just buried one of its last surviving Pearl Harbor widows.

After decades meeting together on a monthly basis, the group is calling it quits, but not before making one final contribution to local military members.

“We would like to close out the accounts that the association formally had and present to the [Navy Marine Corps Relief Society funds] in the amount of $1,466.19," said the chapter's president, Gerald Chebetar, as he and Rice handed the group's last dollars to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek Fort Story's Commander, Capt. Michael Witherspoon.

Witherspoon, who also received the group's gavel, says the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society helps people serving our country now.

“[This] money will be used for families who need financial assistance should they fall on hard times," he told News 3.

It's a gift to today's defenders from a generation whose heroics and sacrifice will never be forgotten.

“It's a gift that will keep giving," said Rice.

Click HERE for more information on how to help military members in need.