Centeral Alabama Veterans Hospital Holds Memorial Day Services

For 3 Vietnam veterans the Memorial Day service at the Centeral Alabama Veterans Hospital wasn't just any Memorial Day service.

"We all went. We all offered what we had, and some gave the ultimate price,"said Vietnam veteran Tom Artez.

For Tom Artez, Jim Aretz, their late brother John, and for childhood friend Neil Pushe, the services had a special meaning. All four men were in Vietnam.)

For the two brothers this anniversary is extraordinary.

"This is a special day for us because we actually were flying in a helicopter and got shot down together on memorial day 1969," said Tom Artez.

For Jim those war stories include the day he lost an eye as he was hanging out of the chopper door firing on the enemy.

"The 81 millimeter Mortar and the M-79 collided, otherwise we would just be a history," said Jim Artez.

Jim and his brother Johnny served together. Now Johnny's two sons are serving.

"You know, I cry on one hand, but I'm very, very proud of them on the other hand," said Jim.

Johnny died of a heart attack back stateside after the war. He was only 35. His memory is always with them.

Neil Push said it means a lot to be back with his old friends. Tom Artez said it's important to hold services like this one because friends sometimes end up just being names, and they don't want that to happen.