Looking into the Eyes of History

To help celebrate America’s birthday on Thursday, July 4, the Gabber is featuring Nicholas “Nick” Ventura, 97, of St. Petersburg for his Army service during World War II as a combat medic who saw action in the Pacific theater in two combat missions from 1944-45, including the invasion of Okinawa. “There were 23 of us medics. Only nine of us survived,” said Ventura. “I count every day as a blessing.” Ventura is also a Purple Heart recipient. On June 11, 2019, he participated in Mission 38 sponsored by Honor Flight West Central Florida, an area non-profit that flies veterans and their travel assistants to Washington, DC for free for a full day of touring the nation’s war memorials. Upon his return to the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, Ventura was photographed in front of an American flag with volunteers dressed as a group called the Bomber Girls. Of the honor flight, Ventura said, “I thought it was wonderful; a beautiful honor.” For more information about honor flights, visit honorflightwcf.org.


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