Apollo Spacecraft, NFL Referee Mics and McDonald's Drive-Thru: Veterans' Innovation Abounds

From the Apollo spacecraft to the McDonald's employees' wireless headsets, veterans have left their impact on the world.

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Thursday, the staff at the Villa Lorena Senior Living Facility celebrated their veteran residents.

NBC 7 spoke with two veterans who had remarkable stories to share about their lives and service to this country.

Army veteran Harry Miyahira can tell you all about his family of war heroes. His older brother was part of the 442 Regimental Combat Team.

“The most highly decorated unit in World War II. They were primarily made of men from Hawaii. That made us proud and I wanted to carry on with that tradition as well,” said Miyahira.

Born on Maui, during a time when his generation of Japanese Americans faced much prejudice, Miyahira only grew more patriotic.

“You never get to appreciate what a great country this is," said Miyahira.

After he retired, Miyahira created something that only NFL referees and fast food employees could have in common: wireless mics.

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“They could handle drinks and flipping burgers simultaneously to improve the speed of service,” said Miyahira.

He credits the military for helping him build his now global communications company HME.

And just down the way from him is air force veteran, 87-year-old Richard Petersen, who has also left his mark on this world in no ordinary way.

“One time, I thought I’d live to see people on Mars. But I’m not gonna make that. But it’s gonna come in the next ten years,” said Petersen.

He was an aeronautical researcher for NASA during his years of service.

“Developing the shapes for the manned capsules that went into orbit and came back with the men,” said Petersen.

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As in, he helped design the Apollo spacecraft carrying a man he came to know over the years -- Neil Armstrong.

“I recognized his voice when he said that’s one small step for mankind.”

Both veterans have given so much to our country, both in innovation and service.

"Singing the national anthem and saying the pledge of allegiance took on a different meaning when you go on active duty. And for that it’s priceless.”

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