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A World War Two Veteran in Redings Mill is the Lone Survivor of - KOAM TV 7

A World War Two Veteran in Redings Mill is the Lone Survivor of his Unit

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Every year hundreds of veterans of World War II pass away every day, some without ever telling their stories. So here is Don Hunter’s.

He’s digging into a box of commendations and photos from world war two.  Pictures he doesn't look at often because they move him to tears.

Hunter says, "I lost all my buddies that I know of now. And I'm the only one left that I know of, and that kind of bothers me."

Hunter first fought with the 110th AAA gun battalion at Omaha Beach.

Hunter says, "You could pretty well come eye to eye with your enemy."

 He says eighty thousand American troops were killed at Omaha Beach. Something he says even video can’t make clear.

Hunter explains, "You don't get the smell of war by talking about it, and the smell of war is bad. And the things you see is bad. You can’t watch a picture on tv, you can imagine it, but it’s not the same."

Hunter survived Omaha beach and made it to the battle of the bulge.

He says, "I got a bronze arrowhead for Omaha beach and five battle stars."

A picture shows him with a dud bomb that had dropped just twenty paces from his units foxholes.

"And that's a gun pit," he says.

Hunter spent many years with the Redings Mill fire department. Something he says helped him cope with the memories of war.

"I don't talk to much about it,” he says. “And I’ll never tell you the bad things. I might tell you some little light hearted things, but never the bad. I won’t go through that again."

don  is glad todays troops can get counseling when they return..

"we didnt get debriefed we just got turned loose.  we were still sort of mean ."

 A book's been written about  the 110th. His  unit  that nicknamed its vehicle Hitler's crawlin coffin.

Hunter reads from a commendation letter,  "Has served with this group continuously with distinction and honor.”

Despite commendations and medals, that  he can no longer find at home, Hunter  wishes there had been lessons learned.   

He says, "I’d like for them  to talk a long time before they go to war. War is a horrible thing. I'm very lucky to be here and thankful to the good Lord for that." 

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