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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- More than 250 men and women, who have fought for our country from World War II to the present, are joining together in Louisville this week for an important reason.
"Since 1961, I haven't seen these guys," said Retired Sergeant Major Eugene Ashe, who served in the Vietnam War. "So, it brings back memories that bring tears to your eyes sometimes. Memories and tears of joy."
This year's reunion, organized by the 3rd Marine Division Association, includes Navy veterans for the first time. It's a time to renew old friendships, and look back on the good and bad moments of their deployments.
As retired Sergeant Major Eugene Ashe will tell you, war isn't easy.
"I'm trying to forget it. That's what I can say to you about that," says Retired Sergeant Major Eugene Ashe.
These men and women also plan to pay tribute to fallen veterans during the reunion, including the 30 American Service members who died Saturday when a Chinook helicopter crashed in Afghanistan. They say it wasn't only a tremendous loss for our nation.
"But mostly to the families that the service men are from, because our nation can never thank our veterans and our family members -- veterans both active-duty and former active-duty -- can't thank them enough," said Retired Major General Gordon Nash, the former commanding General of the 3rd Marine Division. "It's a national loss."
It's something they don't plan to forget as they come together this week and something they hope others continue to remember as the war continues.
"When you see a service man or woman in uniform, thank them for their service," said Nash.
As for the memorial service, it will take place Sunday morning at the Galt House, where this event is taking place.