WWII, Korean War veterans share their stories

BOISE - Veterans share a special bond with each other even if their stories are completely different.

Gover Niemeier and Walter Henry know each other because they both live in the same senior living community, The Terraces of Boise.

"He and I don't know each other that well,” Niemeier said. “But we have a bond that goes well beyond knowing each other."

They're both veterans. Henry served in World War II. He was drafted at 19 in September of 1942.

"I was really in combat from that time until the war ended in May of 1945," he said.

He served in the European Theater and fought in some of the most notable battles like the Battle of the Bulge. He was in Austria the day he found out the war was over.

“I'm terribly proud and glad that it happened to me,” he said. “But I never want to do it again."


Gover Niemeier was in the Navy and was at sea during the Korean War. One of his tasks was disarming an atomic bomb. It was trapped in a plane that had gone down and now was underwater.

“Do the wrong thing we might have all been gone,” Niemeier said. "I recognized my own life is in my own hands and the life of about 120 men on board the ship.”

Both very different stories, but still have that bond they say everyone who serves has. No matter when, where or what branch of the military.

"Everybody on board that ship would have given their life for me and I would have given mine for them,” Niemeier said. “I've never had an experience like that before or after.”

"Combat is something you can't explain to anyone who hasn't been in it,” Henry said.

They tell their stories to help give a better understanding and so that people never forget.

"I hope it increases the respect for the men and women that are serving today and what they are going through to give me freedom,” Niemeier said. “I don’t think the general public realizes what they go through."

"So it'll never happen again,” Henry said. "I'm very glad I went through it, but I never, never want to go through it again.”

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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