On this Veterans Day, we observe and honor those who served and continue to serve our country. In Oro Valley, one veteran, Dick Eggerding, shared his story of living through the Great Depression, World War Two, and the Korean War.

“Im not sorry at all that I had that experience,” said Dick Eggerding when asked about what he’s seen through his life.

And it’s an experience not many get to live out themselves. Eggerding is a U.S. Navy vet who is also the brains behind the Arizona Hero’s Memorial.

He grew up during a period when the country was in the midst of war and the Great Depression.

“Those times were very interesting simply because we would have people coming to our back door, and they would ask for food, and my mother would make sandwiches for them,” he said. “Thats how bad and desperate people were.”

These experiences as a kid began to shape Eggerdings future. At just two years old, he would lose his father, a World War One vet, and four years later was the start of World War Two.

“I can recall as a kid, I had a wagon, we would go around the neighborhood picking up pots and pans, anything metal,” Eggerding shared.

By the time he entered high school, the country was on the verge of yet another war as tensions between North and South Korea were rising.

Eggerding added that after a while, “You become numb when you live in an environment of war.”

By 21 years old, he would finally get the call from Uncle Sam shortly after marrying his wife, who he is still married to today.

He eventually found himself on the other side of the world following the end of the Korean War.

He said, “Theres a whole bunch of stories that emanate from there.”

However, perhaps the biggest story he shared with me and one he is most proud of was the part he played in opening an orphanage after meeting a missionary while in Japan.

“They were robbing garbage cans to stay alive. It was terrible. I was crying like a baby when we paid that thing off.”

When asked what was one of the things that stuck with him throughout his experiences, he replied, “No matter what condition youre in, no matter how rich or poor you are, you can give back. The orphanage was a classic example.”