Merrill veteran reflects on D-Day - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Merrill veteran reflects on D-Day

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This Friday marks 70 years since one of the most important events in U.S. history. The D-Day invasion is observed as a major turning point in World War II.

One soldier storming the beach during the D-Day invasion was a young man from Merrill. Now 94 years old, he's reflecting on his time in the war and his part in D-Day.

Looking back, Earl "Bud" Schuman of Merrill says it doesn't seem like 70 years has gone by.

"I got drafted into the Army," said Schuman. "I actually enjoyed my time in the army like I enjoyed the rest of my life. I've been happy all my life."

Around noon on June 7th 1944, Schuman and his battalion joined the D-Day invasion.

"We went in on Omaha which was the bloodiest beach of the whole invasion," said Schuman.

The day before, 160,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy.

He says there was carnage everywhere.

"We were the fourth gun right behind the third one that blew up and we all jumped out and were helping the guys laying down on the sand," said Schuman.

The operation began the invasion of German-occupied western Europe.

But Schuman says at the time, he felt uneasy, not knowing what was going to happen.

D-Day led to an Allied victory.

"The courage that those guys that stormed the beach, not me, but those fellows, they were stepping right into death and they knew it. And still they have the courage to do it. And they were willing to do it. And that shows you something," said Schuman.

At 94 years old, Schuman is humble, but proud.

"They talk about the generation, the greatest generation. I guess they were," said Schuman.

Schuman will join other World War II veterans in Madison Friday. The State of Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs will recognize them ahead of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.

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