In continuation of our Veterans Day celebrations and coverage, the Palm Springs Air Museum provided a fly-over using their vintage warbirds.
NBC Palm Springs spoke to some veterans at the event and throughout our Coachella Valley who had a message for today’s youth considering joining a line of service.
“It means everything to me, excuse me. There’s so many people that gave so much for this country to be as great as it is, freedom is not free,” said Wayne Wetzel, Vietnam Veteran.
Wayne Wetzel is a U.S. Navy veteran who fought in the Vietnam War, he and fellow vets were on hand at the Palm Springs Air Museum, talking to today’s youth, telling stories of when they served.
“Something that sticks in my mind, and that was when President Nixon brought the prisoners home, I knew 21 of them,” added Wetzel.
Edward Cullinan, a United States Marine who served in Vietnam was also on hand, talking to youth at Wednesday’s fly-over. On display at the museum is the very combat vehicle he drove.
“This is a 1959 mighty mite, it’s what the marines used in Vietnam. I joined the Marines just right out of high school just looking for something to do and it was an experience that I could never forget, it made me who I am today,” explained Cullinan.
And in palm desert, 95-year-old WWII U.S. Navy veteran, Robert Borelli shared his humble view on what today symbolizes.
“The veterans are the guys that didn’t come back, those are the real heroes. The guys that lost their lives and got killed, those are the real veterans. I mean, as far as I’m concerned, I’m just another name, another sailor, that’s all,” said Borelli.
Our local veterans had this message to people considering joining the service and what it’s like reminiscing on a day like Veterans Day.
“It’ll certainly make a man or a woman out of you, you need to consider all branches, not just one, know where you want to go, know what you want to do. have a goal, and go for that goal,” explained Wetzel.
“It’s kind of difficult, you know a lot of the veterans and the docents here, we talk very little about it. and when we talk about it now, it’s mostly about the good times that we’ve had over there. even if it was bad, we turn it into something good,” said Cullinan.
The Palm Springs Air Museum is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., where they will have additional displays and memorabilia celebrating veterans.