Wilburn Rowden

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Around 100 people turned out at the Missouri Capitol Monday to salute America's military veterans.

The crowd was a mix of veterans and civilians who not only heard about the sacrifices of the nation's older vets, but also of younger ones who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Retired Air Force Colonel John Clark of Columbia says it's crucial for returning soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines to retrain their minds for peace.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Four mid-Missouri veterans today were awarded Silver Star banners at the State Capitol, in honor of their past military service.

Among them was 88-year-old Wilburn Rowden of Jefferson City, a World War II vet who served as a radio operator onboard a B-17 bomber.  His plane was shot down over Germany, and he spent the rest of the war as a POW.