East Texas Veteran Speaks - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

05/27/07 - Nacogdoches

East Texas Veteran Speaks

by Tashun Chism

James Cochran is one of many East Texans getting ready to celebrate Memorial Day. As a World War II veteran, he has plenty of stories.

"I enjoyed it in a way. I had some rough times. A few that I would like to tell but I can't talk about," Cochran said.

Cochran says he comes from a military family. His great grandfather even fought in the Civil War. But he tells us it wasn't until a family friend got killed in the line of duty that he decided to join the military.

"My next door neighbor was killed at pearl harbor. So that prompted me. I just threw a fit to go and finally my parents signed the papers for me," Cochran told us.

Cochran was only 16 when he signed with the US Navy. But he was so eager to serve his country during it's time of war that he told officials he was 17.

"I lied about my age and the judge up there knew my family. He laughed and said, 'yeah, I'll sign it, but I know how old you are,'" Cochran chuckled.

Cochran says his granddaughter's husband has fought in Iraq. Cochran knows the war in Iraq is much different than World War II, but believes our country's presence in Iraq is necessary.

"I don't think we can pull out of it without dishonoring those that were killed. I think if we pull out now, they're going to take that country over again," Cochran told us.

Cochran tells us he's proud to have served his country, and says if he could do it again, he would.

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