Veterans Voices

Veterans' bond strengthened by blood, legacy to service

NORTHERN NECK, Va. (WRIC) -- In an unassuming home nestled in the Northern Neck, a small American flag is stamped on the mailbox. Inside lives 90-year-old Alfred O'Daire Sr., who is among the youngest living World War II veterans. 

When O'Daire Sr. turned 17-year old, he knew he wanted to join the military "as soon as I could possibly get in."

He went on to enlist in the U.S. Navy just months before the war ended in 1945. Then he was activated by President John. F. Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis.

"Flying off the coast of Virginia we tracked Russian submarines off the east coast and we (flew) down 50 feet off the water," he told 8News. 

When there's a senior, there's a junior not too far away. 

Alfred O'Daire Jr, enlisting in the Marine Corps, chose a different path than his father. 

"They're surprised I went into the Marine Corps since he was in the Navy but I think that was (me) being a stubborn teenager," said Alfred O'Daire Jr. 

It's a bond two-fold: strengthened by their time in the service and by blood.

Junior says Senior has troubling remembering fine details these days, but when it comes to telling stories about his time in the Navy, O'Daire Jr. is amazed that "he's got the recollection that he does." 

"I'm just happy I got to serve my time in the Navy," Alfred O'Daire Sr. said."I wish I could've served more."

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