(FOX 9) - It’s been nearly 75 years since a local World War II veteran has been back to Guam where he spent several weeks before being shipped out to Japan during the war.
Now, for a special remembrance to surviving veterans, his family is trying to get the 94-year-old there before it’s too late.
It’s an opportunity to be honored alongside his family and fellow veterans who are still alive and well.
Gordy Rosengren kept a detailed journal of his time serving in the Navy during World War II. He still remembers what it was like to arrive in Guam in 1945 as a young man about to go off to war.
“When I was there during the war, it was all military, completely military,” he said.
Recently, the 94-year-old was invited by the local government to take part in Guam’s 75th Liberation Remembrance events next month.
His family was under the impression the local tourism industry would pay for the majority of costs to get him there, but that’s no longer the case.
So, his daughter decided to create a GoFundMe page to help.
“I think it’s going to mean a lot to him, and the way they are responding to the World War II vets and trying to do some accommodations and honor them, too, it’s going to mean a lot to him and me, too,” said Debbie King. “It makes me feel good that I’m going to be able to be a part of that.”
King will have to help her father get through all the logistics of the multiple flights from Minnesota to Guam.
As an added bonus, Rosengren gets to see his great grandchildren who actually live in Guam.
With the help of the community, he’s looking forward to a trip of a lifetime and to possibly reconnect with fellow soldiers who served alongside him.
“You might look at them two or three times before you really figure out who that is,” he said. “You gotta remember, we were 19, 20, 21, 23 years old.”
The ceremony is July 21. Rosengren and his daughter will be there at least two weeks since it’s such a long trip to make.
If you would like to help support his mission, find his GoFundMe here.