HENDERSON (KTNV) — In this week’s Veteran’s Voice, we introduce you to one war hero who had a career in the Navy spanning decades—96-year-old Gordon Hackney, a veteran of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
Our living memory of World War II is increasingly fleeting and Hackney is one of the few remaining examples we have of the Greatest Generation.
“Well, he’s awesome. He’s a treasure in our eyes. He’s a legend,” said Tracee Hashimura, one of Hackney’s daughters. “To live through three wars is something very amazing.”
Hackney’s a Navy man who started his military career in 1943.
It is worth noting that he is diagnosed with dementia and in his advanced age, it is not easy for him to talk.
He was 17 when he enlisted in the Navy, and his service to our country spanned 34 years, all the way to 1977.
In that time his accolades included the Korean and Vietnam Service Medals and the WWII Victory Medal.
“I am really proud of [my service]. But now, I’m way up in age,” he said. “Way up in age—96 years old.”
During his time abroad, he supported a family of five.
And even now, every day he is alive is a blessing. “Even now I’m still alive, so I’m happy,” he said.
He is survived by two daughters and 11 grandchildren.
All of them vowing to keep his story alive for generations to come.
"These WWII vets don’t get enough recognition,” said Hashimura. "They’re not going to be here much longer. And that’s what made America great, is these men and women who would go out and fight for our country."
"You have to be a very special person to put your life, your limbs, and your mind in the way just to protect us," she said.
If you have a veteran you would like us to feature, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Veteran's Voice is sponsored by Southern Nevada Ford Dealers.