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Undeterred by speech impediment, man still finds way to serve

Posted at 1:50 PM, Jul 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-06 20:05:08-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Restoring old military vehicles has given 70-year-old John Pojunos a hobby with a higher purpose.

"The reason I do this is to preserve the history of the military and to help educate and answer questions," said Pojunos, who lives in Olathe. "This is a hobby with a responsibility." 
Pujonos has a love of our country that is hard to beat. 

"Shoot, I still get choked when I hear the national anthem," Pojunos said.  

His grandfather served in World War I, and his father served in World War II.

With a family history like that, Pojunos wanted nothing more than to serve himself.

But he had a problem. 

He stuttered.

"I was never in the military itself," Pojunos said. "I used to stutter real, real bad. When I was a lot younger the kids used to tease me about it."

Pojunos said he tried the military, but once they found out he had a stutter, his career was over before it began.

"I eventually got over it," Pojunos said. 

He had years of speech therapy but eventually, he figured out how to get over his stutter by himself.

"I decided at some point, whether consciously or subconsciously, that I would not let it control me. I was going to control it,” Pojunos said. “Once I made that decision on whatever level, then I started ignoring it.”

Pojunos had a long career as a salesmen. 

Now that he is retired, he devotes his time to restoring old military vehicles. 

He's part of the Hell on Wheels chapter of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association.

He's rebuilt six so far and has no desire to stop anytime soon. 

"These vehicles represent history, it also represents a lot of the sacrifice of the people before us and it needs to be preserved," Pojunos said.