BARSTOW • Veterans home resident and World War Two veteran Arthur Sass never fought the combat lines in Germany, nor did he march the beaches of France. Instead, Sass spent most of World War II in India where his crew established a route through China to attack the Japanese.
After he was drafted in 1941, Sass joined the Army Air Corps, which later broke off to become the Air Force in 1947.
They told me, 'If you want to enlist in the Air Corps you can get out of the Army in three years,'" Sass said. "I was all for that."
The 96-year-old veteran retold his days in India, remembering times when Japanese bombers flew overhead.
"But I'm lucky they always attacked the post before I got back," Sass said.
Now the second oldest veteran at the Barstow's veterans home, Sass still drives his own vehicle.
Sass said Veterans Day, held on Nov. 11, is important because it lets the veterans know they are appreciated.
"Veterans Day is just to celebrate the veterans from the different wars for their service," Sass said
In Barstow, several organizations are holding events to honor veterans in the area.
The Disabled American Veterans chapter 68 is organizing a special Veteran's Day ceremony at the Mountain View Cemetery at 11 a.m. Friday.
He said Veterans Day is significant because "It means that I'm walking in some very, very big boots from the people that have made it possible for this country to have Disabled American Veterans group."
Many city and military leaders will be attending the event, including Col. Dan Ermer, Commander of the Marine Corps Logistics Base, Brig. Gen. Terry Ferrell, commanding general from Fort Irwin, as well as Barstow Mayor Joe Gomez.
To honor its veterans the Veterans Home of Barstow is hosting a private luncheon at noon that will feature guest speakers Ermer and Ferrell and others. During the luncheon, the home will recognize Barstow veteran Robert Izumi who received a Congressional Gold Medal.
Additionally, the home will honor the home's administrator Arthur Robles, who is soon to retire, with a short presentation and a plaque.
"It's very important that we recognize our residents with our invited guests," said Denise Phillips, who helped plan the luncheon. "It's also very important to our residents that we honor them."
Veterans Day Observance:
When: 11 a.m. Friday
Where: Mountain View Cemetery, 37067 Irwin Road