Crystal VFW Hosts “Welcome Home Party” for WWII Vets
Many veterans, like 96-year-old Don Halverson, did not get ticker-tape parades when they returned home from World War II. So, the Crystal VFW hosted a special night where they said thank you to the veterans who served in WWII.
“It’s been my dream to honor veterans from every generation. We picked World War II as the first to honor,” said Don Fernstrom, commander of the Crystal VFW. “We’ve lost a number of World War II veterans from our post within the last year. It’s our privilege to put this on.”
The Crystal VFW plans to host a few events to honor veterans of each war or conflict.
“It’s nice to see some of the guys who are still left,” said Don Halverson. “It’s getting kind of slim.”
Halverson answered questions about his experience fighting up the boot of Italy in the war. He remembers how the makeup of his unit would change, as new soldiers came in to replace the ones who were killed. He remembers swimming in a beautiful European lake after victory was declared. And the best day of his experience? He would emphatically tell you, it was May 2, 1945 when the war ended.
But when Halverson came home from war, it was a far cry from the ticker-tape parades that you might associate with the greatest generation.
“My dad, mother and sister welcomed me home and that was it,” remembers Halverson. “Sixty years later and I’m glad I lived this long, to get that honor flight and a few other things.”
Halverson was one of a few who shared their stories at the event.