Scottsdale senior community honors veterans with photographs

A local senior living community is honoring America's heroes by making sure they are not forgotten.
A local senior living community is honoring America's heroes by making sure they are not forgotten.
Photographs of World War II veterans were taken on Wednesday and will be placed in an exhibit to honor them.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but for these World War II vets, it's more like a thousand stories.

Ninety-eight-year-old Bob Bard was in the Army for 15 years and fought in several different countries.

"I got a very good memory and I'm proud of it," he said. "What I did and what those fought with me did."

Gene Graham was in three different wars during his 30-year run in the military.

"I had a great Air Force carrier and had good bosses, had one that was a problem, but that's not here or there," he said.

His job was to take photographs of different targets in combat.

"I took pictures all over Japan, including Hiroshima several times," he said.

Now, these veterans are getting their picture taken. Photographer Thomas Sanders travels to all Belmont Village senior living communities across the country to take photos of veterans, which are then posted up in the hallway.

"They're walking down the hallway and they see the image of the veteran and they become emotionally enthralled, they come in and take a closer look and then they read a story of the veteran and hopefully it creates a greater appreciation of all our veterans," he said.

Graham appreciates the recognition.

"I don't know how to say it, I'm really thankful that I'm here today and I'll be 92 next month," he said.

Neither Graham nor Bard would let up on their secret to living a long, healthy and happy life.

"I don't have a secret, I just do what I was supposed to do and, uh, did it," Graham said.

"There is not secret," Bard said. "I just ate right and I guess acted right, but I made a good soldier and I did everything I had to do and I had nothing to regret as far as my service is concerned."

The exhibit will open on November 9 at the Belmont Village senior living community in Scottsdale.

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