Tuskegee airman shares his message to new Veterans

He served when the military was segregated
Posted at 6:41 PM, Nov 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-12 09:57:10-05

On a crystal blue Veteran's Day, Plant City children pay their respect to the men and woman who fought for their future.

"I'm blessed because Veterans sacrificed their life for me," said one student.

"Veteran's Day is a day we can appreciate them," said another.

And from the mouths of the innocent to the eyes of a living national treasure sitting in the front row, the message is the same.

Ephraim Reaves fought for freedom when he wasn't even free in his own country.

"If it wasn't for the lord we couldn't make it," he says.

Reaves served in World War II as a mechanic with the Tuskegee Airmen. The first  African American military pilots. At that time many black Americans, especially in the south, were subjected to Jim Crow laws and the military was segregated.Ephrain essentially had to fight for the honor to serve.

"We got our training on B-25'S and B 26's," Reaves recalls.

Today Airman Reaves is a Plant City hero and at 95 years old, he feels for today's veterans.

"I pity them, some is them got there legs all messed up, and they need better care," he says.

He realizes he's one of the few Tuskegee Airmen left to share the story.

"Most of the are gone," Reaves said. "Most of the people i went to school with are gone." 

Gone, but not forgotten and Mr. Reaves is still going strong.