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Friends help survivor return to Pearl Harbor

Agnes Mumford is accompanying Pearl Harbor survivor Richard Skidmore on a trip back to Hawaii, funded by VFW members. -
Agnes Mumford is accompanying Pearl Harbor survivor Richard Skidmore on a trip back to Hawaii, funded by VFW members.
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The past 60 years have gone by in the blink of an eye for one Oak Harbor man, and he’s headed back to the place he was on a day he’ll never forget.

Richard Skidmore, a 79-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor, didn’t think he’d be able to go to Hawaii for the 60th anniversary of the Japanese air attack that killed nearly 2,400 military personnel and civilians on Dec. 7, 1941.

Then, some friends made sure he had the chance.

Last summer, Skidmore’s fellow VFW members pooled their money and purchased round-trip airline tickets for Skidmore, and his friend, Agnes Mumford, to take the trip to Pearl Harbor. Skidmore and Mumford are leaving today for a week stay in Hawaii.

Accompanying the couple on the trip are Skidmore’s son and daughter-in law, his daughter, and Mumford’s son and daughter-in-law.

Having his loved ones with him makes the journey even more special for Skidmore.

“The kids have never seen it,” Skidmore said of Pearl Harbor. He wants everyone to have a good time on the trip and he said he hopes “the kids” take in as many sights of the islands as possible during the week.

However, he also appreciates their support while he visits a place that he remembers vividly, as well as the horrific event that took place there.

“You just go over there and you remember,” Skidmore said.

Skidmore wears his Pearl Harbor survivors’ medallion, awarded by Congress in 1991, proudly. If he had to do it all over again, he said he would.

“I’m very proud I served my country,” Skidmore said.

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