Lloyd Parker got to see the Pacific Ocean and some of its islands courtesy of the U.S. government.
Two of the three years that he served with the U.S. Army were in the Pacific Theater during World War II.
Parkerís service to his country was recently honored when he flew to Washington, D.C., as part of the Texas South Plains Honor Flight for military veterans.
He and more than 100 veterans from the region flew to the District of Columbia on Oct. 1; they returned to Lubbock two days later.
Parker, who had never been to the nationís capitol, said the trip was great, even though it rained every day because of a hurricane off the East Coast.
He was working on his dadís farm in northeast Texas when he was inducted into the Army. He traveled to Camp Walters, near Mineral Wells, on July 5, 1943 to start 16 weeks of basic training.
‘Coming off the farm, basic training wasnít all that hard,’ Parker said. ‘Now those city boys had a little problem.’
After completing their training, the soldiers boarded a troop train and went to Fort Meade in Maryland. They then traveled to Camp Shanks at Orangeburg, N.Y. The men boarded a troop ship on the Hudson River on Dec. 8, 1943.
After boarding the ship, the men were told to assemble. They were issued winter clothing. The next day, while the ship was still moored, the soldiers were again assembled. This time they were issued light clothing.
The ship pulled out, steamed down the Hudson River and began steaming south. It reached the Panama Canal and passed through to the Pacific Ocean.