Veterans touring D.C. memorials during second annual WNY Warriors Project

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — More than two dozen Western New York war veterans are touring the nation’s capital, making stops at the war memorials and Arlington cemetery. It’s a trip many have been waiting years to make.

“It’s been a long time and I think it’s time I got there,” said Joe Lozina, a World War II veteran who served with the Navy.

“I was just a kid in Riverside,” said Donald Lanternier, a Korean War veteran who served with the Army. “It was the most exciting time in my life.”

More than 24 men boarding a plane to Washington, D.C. Wednesday, wearing red shirts and veterans hats– a much different uniform than the ones they sported decades ago when they served in foreign wars.

“The fact I was there and served my country was wonderful,” said Frank Marsden, who served during the Korean War.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the memorials,’ said Laternier.

The group is touring the capital making stops at  the Korean, Vietnam and World War II memorials. They’re memorials for them — the men and women who served during these conflicts.

“It’ll probably be emotional looking at the memorials,” said Lanternier.

“I owe this country a lot,” said Donald Marsden, a Korean War Vet. “I think they owe me a bit. It’ll be nice to be there.”

Donald Marsden is making the trip to DC. He served in the Air Force during the Korean War along with his brother Frank. Once again, they’re side by side — this time for a journey to see the memorials.

“I’m very fortunate,” said Marsden.  “A lot of people don’t have their family with them. It means quite a bit.”

For some making the trip, they’ll be paying homage to their family during a trip to the national cemetery.

“I have two nephews buried in Arlington,” said Lozina. “It’ll be good to see them.”

“I had a cousin that got shot down in Normandy and he’s buried there,” said Len Pogorzala, a World War II Veteran. “That hits you a little bit.”

“These people don’t get to get up and go home,” said Frank Marsden. “It’s tough.”

A tough day as they remember and reflect on their time serving but it’s a day these veterans will never forget

“I’m somewhat proud of what I did,” said Laternier.
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