LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - 10 Korean War veterans from around the nation have made their way to Lufkin for their annual reunion.
"We are like a family, probably get along with one another better than everyday families do," said Loyd Knipers, Navy Veteran
These veterans served on the CV-37-V1 division on the USS Princeton.
From 1950 to 1954 these men lived and worked together as firemen in their unit.
"That was our home we ate, slept and even had to get in a few fights with one another," said Knipers.
"They helped to preserve safety when the planes would land on the ship," said Rhonda Lawrence, Event Organizer
The group has been getting together once a year since 1980.
They arrived in Lufkin on Wednesday and have been soaking up the East Texas culture visiting various museums and the newly renovated Pines Theater.
"Together they renew old friendships, find out about each other's families they draw a bit of strength from this group," said Lawrence.
Lufkin native Rhonda Lawrence served as the reunion host this year, her father was a member of the group and she says after he died his navy brothers still reached out to her family.
"These men and their wives and their families mean everything to each other. They have been friends since the Korean War they have developed a family like relationship," said Lawrence.
And these veterans say the tradition of family is one that will continue even after they are gone.
"We got our grandkids, our kids and grandkids are beginning to run this, I'm hoping they continue as we all pass on and go upstairs," said Knipers.
The veteran group was welcomed to Lufkin by Mayor Bob Brown. After that they got a special screening of their memories from the Korean War at the Pines Theater.