Korean War veteran James Haun, who served in the Marines, began his journey Saturday to the “The Chosin Few” reunion in San Diego. The reunion of survivors of the 1950 Chosin Reservoir conflict, a 16-day battle during the Korean War where U.S. and United Nations forces endured extreme cold, will begin on Tuesday.

“This trip means an awful lot because this could be the last time I get to see any of these people, and I really look forward to visiting with them,” Haun said. “I have friends from this area that will not be able to make the trip. I wish some of my other friends were able to make the trip, but I am very glad that I am here.”

Renaissance Community Management team member Elise Bennett has heard Haun talk about the battles that he was in and said that the Chosin Reservoir conflict was one of the toughest.

“Haun remembers how there was no food,” she said. “They ate Tootsie Rolls for weeks. It was negative 60 degrees. Their water was frozen so all they had to drink was snow. They had to endure so much during that battle.”

Riding in their own limousine, Haun and his wife, Connie, received an escort to Gainesville by the North Texas Patriot Guard and local law enforcement. In Gainesville, they boarded a train and will arrive in San Diego in three days.

“More than 20 riders will ride in front of and behind the limo,” North Texas Patriot Guard Captain Tom Feltner said. “Unfortunately, most of our rides are at funerals so today we are very excited to be riding about something that is happy.”

Though her health keeps her from traveling often, Connie Haun was happy that she was getting to make the trip with her husband.

“I have not had much time to think about the train ride, but I am glad that my husband is going to be recognized for his work during the Korean War,” she said. “He is a great guy, a wonderful and thoughtful man. He is willing to help everyone. He is a really good person so he is deserving of this trip.”

The Hauns’ trip was sponsored by Twilight Wish Foundation, an organization that helps raise funds to make veterans’ wishes come true.