In January 1944, Myers fought in the Battle of Anzio, a particularly brutal fight on the coast of Italy. The campaign concluded with the fall of Rome.
“We were making beach landings before the guys showed up at D-Day,” Myers joked.
Myers and other World War II veterans were recognized first, followed by those from the Korean War, Cold War, Vietnam War and the conflicts in Grenada and Panama. Veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, were also called.
In all, 14 soldiers from the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team were killed during the brigade’s recent deployment to Afghanistan. Their families were recognized Monday along with the family members of six other team members killed since the September 11, 2001, attacks.
Potter, 20, of Okmulgee, died Sept. 9. He left behind a brother, two sisters, a son and a wife.
“Coming here made me a feel a little better,” said Dillon Potter, 19, who had hoped to enlist after graduating from high school and meet up with his brother in the Middle East. “I miss him a lot. We were very close. He was like my best friend.”
Maj. Gen. Myles Deering, the state adjutant general, stressed the importance of remembering the sacrifice made by veterans, particularly since just 1 percent of the population serves in the military today, he said.
“If we suddenly lose the willingness to defend our freedom, which comes with a price, than we’ll lose that freedom,” he said.