Big Bend veteran community mourns loss of WWII veteran Major John Haynes

“What a man. I’m gonna miss him personally, and I know that so many in our veterans community are going to miss him as well”
Remembering WWII veteran Major John L Haynes
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 9:36 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Veterans across the Big Bend are mourning the loss of a legend in the community.

Major John Haynes died Tuesday at 93. Haynes was a decorated war veteran. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for decades, serving in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

Despite his accomplishments, Haynes was never one to brag. When he and dozens of other local veterans traveled to D.C. in 2022 for Honor Flight, person after person approached Haynes and praised him for his service. Still, his modesty didn’t waver.

“I didn’t do anything in the Marine Corps that a Marine isn’t trained to do,” Haynes said in an interview with WCTV during Honor Flight.

Those close to Haynes agree — his service speaks louder than his words. Air Force veteran David Wilson was a friend of Haynes for years.

Wilson told WCTV Tuesday Haynes was someone you just couldn’t say no to. He had a strong presence and a determination to serve.

“The only thing he’s ever failed at was when he tried to join the Marine Corps at 13 years old, and they caught him,” Wilson said. “But he came back and joined at 15.”

After his time in the Marine Corps, Haynes dedicated his life to other veterans, helping them get access to their VA benefits.

“That’s the way he was,” Wilson said. “He was always thinking about other people.”

Haynes will be missed not just for his service, but for the joy he brought others just by being himself.

“He would always want a Diet Coke,” Wilson said, laughing. “When I would go pick him up or whatever, I would always bring a Diet Coke for him. What a man. I’m gonna miss him personally, and I know that so many in our veterans community are going to miss him as well.”

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