NewsPhoenix Metro NewsCentral Phoenix News


Valley WWII veteran visits Pearl Harbor commemoration days before his 100th birthday

WWII veteran pearl harbor attacks.PNG
Posted at 9:44 PM, Dec 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-08 00:34:45-05

Meet Jack Holder and Darlene Tryon. He was a Navy sailor and she's a retired Air Force veteran.

"This has been the longest month I have ever endured. I am kind of like the kid who keeps asking, 'Are we there yet,’" said Holder.

The pair traveled to Hawaii for the 80th commemoration of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

Holder grew up during the Great Depression.

"You have no idea how tough it was trying to make a living during the Great Depression. Gasoline was 15 cents a gallon and most people did not have 15 cents,” added Holder.

Holder would join the Navy in 1940, become a pilot, and serve eight years. He now lives in the Valley.

The 99-year-old veteran shared the devastation from that dark time in our past.

"I have seen shipmates jumping off the ship and into the water that was covered in oil and own fire. Most died in the water. Some died when they reached the beach,” added Holder.

He reflected, with Tryon, on those memories.

"My aspiration of service has never expired. I will continue to serve my country where ever I am needed,” said Tryon.

This is Holder's fifth time visiting for Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

"It's always nice to come back. I enjoy it. It brings back some of the horrors of course. But, I have never been bothered with any nightmares or things like that," added Holder.

He's now preparing for his 100th birthday celebration this coming weekend.

"What an honor it is to know him, to be able to serve him and also my country through him,” added Tryon.