WHITE HALL, Ark.-On this Memorial Day, despite COVID19 many people and organizations are still honoring our fallen soldiers.

Sergeant First Class Thomas Franklin Vaughns is a Tuskegee Airman, WWII and Korean War vet.

“I’ve seen a lot of things during my lifetime,” he said. 

Vaughns is 99-years old and spoke to our Re’Chelle Turner on Memorial Day. 

“It means to honor those that have fallen to help keep this nation free,” he said.

Vaughns is a native of Marianna, Arkansas and remembers those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice.

“I went into service in 1942 and I was discharged in 1946. I went into the Korean War in 1950 and came out in 1951,” he said.

He was only in his 20’s when he decided to enlist. He was selected to serve for the famed Tuskegee Airman working as an airplane mechanic.

“My job was too make sure the airplane was safe at all times,” he said. 

He graduated from the University of Arkansas in Pune Bluff with a major in Science.

He worked for Habitat for Humanity and became a county agent.

“To me being a county agent  was more than cotton and soybeans and things like that it would lifting people out of the gutter and show them hope for the future,” he said.

Over the years, Vaughns received many awards and medals for his hard-work and service, but he says he lost them.

In August of 2019, Senator. John Boozman presented him with new medals and recognized Vaughns service.

“It’s quite an honor to have a family that loves me so much so that’s what it really means to me,” he said.

Vaughns will celebrate his 100th birthday on July 12. He thanks God for living a long and healthy life.