'Something he'll never forget': Vet remembers raising U.S. flag over Iwo Jima

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- It's an image seen millions of times.

"I felt like that was a turning point," said Homer Wright. He's among few who saw, first hand, the flag raised over Iwo Jima.

"All we could see was from just about their waist up, until they raised the flag. We wasn't too exactly sure what was gonna happen," he said. "If they could keep that flag up there and it still could stand 24 hours, I think we had that island secured."

The 92-year-old, who now lives in northwest Harris County, says he was drafted just three days after his 18th birthday. He served three years in the Navy, aboard the USS Prichett.

"War is hell. It's not a kid's game. It's not romantic. It's dramatic and traumatic at the same time," said Wright.

Years later, he would chronicle his time aboard the ship, putting down his thoughts on paper in a simple binder.

"Bullets going in, wounded bodies going out," said Wright of the battle.

Wright says the Prichett and her men received eight battle stars and the Navy unit Commendation for Service in the Okinawa campaign. The stories of loss and survival he tells every chance he gets.

"This is a part not only of our history, but our country's history," said Wright.

It's a history he knows is fading. But putting it to paper he says helps him and others remember World War II.

"I salute anybody that's been through a war and survived," he added.

He hopes the sacrifices of all who served are never forgotten.

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