Local World War II veteran's dying wish comes true posthumously

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BUCHANAN, Va. (WDBJ7) - Beneath the fog of the Buchanan mountains stretches New Freedom Farm. It has 13 acres and currently, American flags are flying at half-staff.

Photo: WDBJ7

Saturday morning, dozens of Marines removed their caps and placed hands over their hearts.

"He was the best. He was a great dad," said Carla-Jeanne Keith, daughter of Carlos Showalter.

Mornings at New Freedom Farm typically don't bring this kind of turnout. But for Carlos Showalter, they do.

"I would say he was here at least four times a week," said Lois Dawn Fritz, talking about Showalter.

Fritz runs New Freedom, a place specifically for veterans with PTSD.

"Last Saturday I went to him and I said what can New Freedom Farm and myself do to make it better these last couple months, and he said you know what Louis I want to have a get together at the farm, and I want to invite as many Marines as possible."

But 94-year-old Carlos Showalter, a World War II veteran, didn't get to see his dying wish come to fruition. His stage 4 kidney disease took him from this world on Tuesday.

The marines still came.

"Once a Marine, always a Marine," said one current Marine stationed in Norfolk.

Old friends with tales before the war did too.

"Carlos and I had a great time being on campus and having security chase us away," said James Warren III.

Showalter's family was also present.

"It was normal for daddy to be gone all week and be home on the weekends. We were able to talk to him long distance on the telephone a couple nights a week," said Keith.

The people Carlos Showalter loved and the people he fought for showed to remember him.

"I'm trying to hold it together, I'm sorry. He said always remember this, when you visit a national cemetery, they gave all their tomorrows for our today's," said Fritz.

Carlos was supposed to be at New Freedom Farm Saturday, and in many ways, he still was.