BELCHER, LA (KSLA) - Whayland Greene is one of 23 veterans of World War II from the ArkLaTex who are traveling this week to Washington DC to visit war memorials and monuments. The trip is sponsored by Brookshires.
Whayland Greene has a story to tell about all of the names at the Belcher, LA Veteran's Memorial.
"This is Hadley Branton," said Greene, a World War II veteran. "She was captured a Second Lieutenant when Bataan and Corregidor fell."
In 2001, Greene wanted to do his part to remember veterans, so he and his wife Joanne bought land next door to his home and sold it to the Village of Belcher, provided they would let him put a veterans memorial here.
You could call it his shrine on a plot of land Green knows very well.
"We were married in that gray house right over there in 1946," said Greene. "We went to church right there and we live right here."
This walking talking storyteller is an encyclopedia of everything World War II and many who fought with him.
Greene witnessed some of the worst images of the war in the Philippines where some of his buddies never returned home alive.
"In fact I saw this man fall," recalls Greene looking at an old photo. "And i dragged him up the hill."
For that soldier and countless others Whayland Greene made it his mission when he returned home to find and visit their families and help bring them comfort.
It's the least he could do especially after someone happened to do that for him.
A fellow soldier who returned from war before Greene made sure Greene's mother knew that he was okay.
"He said that little guy (Greene) can take care of himself and that made her feel good," said Greene.
To this day, Greene keeps to his promise to himself to stay connected to military families and keep telling stories with the hope that through this little memorial in Belcher, the rest of us will too.