James and Harold live in
The nonprofit Honor Flight Network, now in its 11th year, has chapters across the country, including the one in
They are humble about being selected for an
"We don't really deserve all of the honors,"
"They all served,"
Saturday's trip will be Syracuse
Taking three brothers,
"We've had two brothers, but never three," he said.
Harold, James and Phillip were among the eight children born to
The three brothers are the only surviving children of Leonard and Emily. The other children were Anna, Donald, John, Charles and Mary Louise.
Donald and Charles were World War II veterans. John F. was a Catholic priest who served in
Father Wiley was 63 when he died in 1984. Sister
Anna E., who married
"They've been working hard," James said of the Legion. "They raised money by putting on fish fries every Friday night to finance it. Everything is paid for."
The post has scheduled at
----Here's where the three
He joined the service in September of 1946, a few months after graduating from
"It was a very lonesome, homesick time, I tell you," Harold said. "It was my first Christmas away from home."
He said the defeated Japanese treated the American soldiers very well.
"There were some Japanese up in the mountains who didn't know the war was over," he said. "We would let them know what was going on."
He said the most memorable event for him while in
"We went around in boats and rescued people from rooftops," Harold said.
He was honorably discharged from the
He was drafted into the
"I ended up at
James said he was treated well by the Germans.
"We had no problems," he said. "We got along with them. And they liked the money that was kicking around."
He was honorably discharged on
While working for
Later that year, he was sent to the
"We had to shake the ship down," Philip said.
According to a
Philip, who was a firefighter and an electrician on the ship, said planes from the USS Lake Champlain were sent into the Korean War (1950-1953) theater from Japanese waters.
"I was over there when the Korean War ended," Philip said. "So they sent us all home."
He was honorably discharged in 1954.
"The youngest of the World War II veterans are in their late 80s, or their early 90s,"
"But a lot of veterans are nervous about leaving their homes or their families," he said.
On Saturday's flight,
----After their service, James and Harold operated a
Harold then went into the insurance business, retiring at the age of 82.
James became a real estate professional, which he still works at.
Philip, before retiring, went back to work at
The brothers said qualities of their parents, which included "great faith," helped lead to their success and the success of their deceased siblings.
They said their mom was "firm, but fair."
"We would be downtown hanging out, and we would hear my mom's ring hit the window," said James, who was 11 when his father died. "She had that wedding ring and would knock on the window with it. We knew it was time to come home."
"We're pretty lucky," Harold said, as he counted off each of their ages at 84, 85 and himself at 87. "And we're still going str..." -- at this, he hesitated, not finishing a word and backing up a bit:
"We're still going halfway strong," he said, laughing.
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