World War Two ended 69 years ago, and some local veterans who fought in the war will be taking a special trip to Japan this week. Byron and Bettylu Dennis both played important roles during WWII. Byron steered the wheel on a Navy destroyer in the Pacific, but he was sent home with an injury before he made it to Japan. Byron says, “I wanted to make that trip to Japan. It’s taken 65 years to do it.” Bettylu was a Navy Wave during the war. After boot camp, she toured around the country as a singer, recruiting men and women to join the military.
Bettylu says, “This opportunity to go to Japan and represent the waves from world war two and also the armed forces retirement home because it’s an honor and a privilege. Wednesday, the couple will join two other veterans from south Mississippi on a special friendship trip to Japan. The veterans going on this trip say it is an important step to heal the wounds of war. Ernest Pain, a WWII Army veteran, says, “You wouldn't believe it. I don't like to talk about the war. I call it man's inhumanity to man.” While in Japan, the local veterans will meet up with Japanese veterans who fought against Americans. Paul Hoffer, a WWII Marine veteran, says, “I think that’s good, that we can forget it like that and love each other.” While in Japan, the American and Japanese veterans will play a softball game as a sign of friendship.