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World War II veterans receive honors in Washington,D.C.

Charlie Gray, Richard Osgood visit nation's capital
By: Martha Garcia, Colfax Record Editor
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Two Colfax veterans recently received well-deserved recognition. Charlie Gray and Richard Osgood were invited to visit Washington, D.C. where they toured the nation’s capital and took part in ceremonies at the National World War II Memorial from Oct. 14 to 16. Both men said they were “honored” to be chosen for the trip. The tour was courtesy of the Honor Flight Network, a non-profit organization that honors America's veterans by hosting the Washington, D.C. visit where veterans can reflect at their respective memorials. Gray served in the South Pacific, with the 40th Infantry Division. “Most of my experience was in the Philippines,” Gray said. “Our division was stationed in New Britton Island. We were supposed to land … just north of Manila in Luzon. I got an eye infection and was taken off the ship at Manus Island and taken to Guadalcanal. From there I went back to the Philippines and finished up the war there. After the Philippines my outfit was sent to Korea and we spent the next 3 months in a little town in South Korea called Puzon. We spent about 3 months there. After the war was over they started demobilizing. I left Korea and got to Seattle on Christmas Eve of 1945.” Before the trip, Gray said he was looking forward to return visit to Washington after many years. We went back to the American Legion convention in Baltimore. While we were back there we went down and visited in Washington,” Gray said. Gray said the visit would “Bring back good memories. Most times any of us who have been in the service always remember the good memories, rather than the bad memories.” Viewing the World War II memorial was a cathartic experience for Osgood, who served with the Navy. “It left lots of voids behind me … I lost of friends over there. They never came back,” Osgood said. Osgood was a member of an underwater demolition team that conducted pre-assault operations against enemy-held beaches in Southeast Borneo, in the Southwest Pacific, in June 1945. Osgood’s Bronze Star Medal citation applauds him for his bravery: “In the face of enemy artillery, mortar, and sniper fire, he proceeded in a small boat to within one hundred yards of the landing beach and then swam ashore towing float packs loaded with high explosives to be used in the destruction of anti-assault carriers.”