Veterans Get Ready For Central Valley Honor Flight

Dozens of local World War II veterans will soon be traveling to visit their memorial and other monuments in Washington, D.C.

The flight is being sponsored by The Central Valley Honor Flight.

KMPH Fox 26 News Reporter Erik Rosales will be traveling with the group.

One veteran being honored is Dr. Vincent Petrucci.

Dr. Petrucci says he's counting the days till the trip.

He says, "I'm really looking forward to it. I think the friendship that will develop and the few people that I recognize, it will give me the opportunity to learn and visit with the people that were there."

In 1944, he entered the Naval Air Corps, with the dreams of becoming a fighter pilot.

But prior to finishing his pre-flight training at Saint Mary's in Moraga, near San Diego, the war ended.

He says, "I played a very minor role. But I was ready to go fight like all the others. But the war ended. Fortunately for me that is maybe why I'm still may be here."

The football star, a quarterback on the Naval Air Corp team continued his studies at U. C. Davis. He went on to become a successful businessman in the wine and grape industry. He was also a professor at Fresno State for nearly 50 years.

Dr. Petrucci hopes the younger generation will never forget the sacrifices made by those before them.

He says, "I hope that they realize that this is one of the greatest countries in the world."

Dr. Petrucci, thank you for your service!