The United States was forced to defend itself and freedom in what would become the greatest and most costly conflict in human history.
It was the most difficult challenge many of these men and women had ever faced in their lives.
They were sent on a mission that today so few of us could ever imagine, into life and death situations where the hope and cause of freedom hung in the balance.
Although they may be in their 80s and 90s today, their eyes told the stories from that time they were teenagers so long ago.
Visiting the Capitol was something many of them never dreamed of doing, but was made possible by a program started to thank them for their service.
However, they have never thought of themselves as special, or as heroes.
These teenagers that saved the world left Washington with a sense of gratitude and pride.
They arrived back in Little Rock to a welcome from hundreds of well-wishers as the heroes they are: Arkansans that were called on to defend freedom from the evils of fascism and secure for our nation a future of the hopes and dreams we enjoy today.
Even as a veteran myself, I came away with a new found appreciation and understanding of who these heroes are and the impossible that they made possible.
Thank you, all of you, for what you did and thank you to all those who put our nation above themselves in all our nation's military struggles, past and present, in the hope your sacrifices will continue to place freedom over repression and keep the beacon of hope burning brightly.