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A 3-time Marine veteran remembers a lifetime of service

On Veteran’s Day, many folks spend time listening to war stories and memories with grandpas and grandmas, aunts and uncles, or moms and dads.

There’s one generation we are slowly losing – those men and women who bravely fought in World War II.

On Sunday, reporter Caleb James sat down with one man who fought in the ‘Big One’ — but he didn’t stop there.

“I had two childhood friends,” said Daniel Scarborough, 89, “We made a pact that when we graduated we’d enlist in the Marine Corps.”

In 1941, with news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor swarming around the globe, Scarborough was just a kid.

“Their parents gave permission but my parents wouldn’t,” he said.

Scarborough was only 18. Back then, you had to be 21 to enlist without permission from parents.

“In January ’42, I enlisted,” he said. “In WWII they didn’t ever tell you where you were going.”

Scarborough’s two best friends, Kenneth and William, ended up not far from each other. William was killed on Iwo Jima. Kenneth is still listed as Missing in Action in Guadalcanal.

“I lost my two good boyhood friends,” he said. “I think about it all the time.”

But Scarborough kept on fighting.

“I was wounded during the Battle of Okinawa, and received my first Purple Heart,” he said.

Scarborough fought his way through a world at war. With a few months left on his enlistment, he was stationed in Pocatello.

“I met my future wife there,” he said with a smile. That’s how I ended up in Idaho.”

A few years later, he fought for his county again.

“I re-enlisted in the Marine Corps and served approximately 2 years in Korea,” he said.

He didn’t stop there.

“I didn’t have to go to Vietnam, but I volunteered to go,” he said.

Vietnam would be Scarborough’s third war.

“See that finger there?” he asked. “A piece of shrapnel took it off.”

He joked about the finger he left behind. It’s one of many battle scars from a life lived serving his country.

This Veteran’s Day, Scarborough is still fighting. Some injuries from a fall have him in the hospital, but he said it shouldn’t be for long. He looks back on his life fondly. He said he wouldn’t change a thing.

“I figured that’s where I was supposed to be, you know?”

Veteran’s Day he said, is a good day to adopt the will of a soldier.

“We have to take action when we have to,” he said. “A lot of people don’t like it, but that’s the way this world is.”

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