HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) –A world war two veteran in Washington County recounts his time, 75 years ago, when he helped free Europe from the Nazis.
“Those people who were there witnessed a time that they weren’t free, and had to go through those terrible times, they know how important freedom is,” said Meyers.
Meyers was a gunner serving in the Army’s 692 Tank Destroyer Battalion. He remembers leading a team of five men as if it was yesterday.
It took 50 years for Myers to recount what he saw on June 6, 1944.
Meyers said, “I did not hate my enemy. I felt sorry for them because that was his life. He was raised that way.”
For veterans like him who returned home, he’s one of the lucky ones.
“One of the dead [Nazi] soldiers, went through his pockets and he had a picture of his wife and kids. Same as we,” said Meyers.
Three of Myer’s men died during the war. Two died of bullet wounds – one was killed from shrapnel.
“It’s tough losing them,” Meyers said. “It’s great to know they didn’t give their life for nothing.”
After the war, Myers was given a bronze star.
“I was following orders. I didn’t think I did anything special.”
His Hagerstown home is filled with memorabilia, from the time he was drafted at the early age of 19 in 1943 until the end of World War II in 1945.
“Near the end of the war, we liberated Dachau prison camp,” said Meyers. “Wow. You can’t believe how a human being could treat another human being. When I say, the prisoners were skin and bones, I mean it.”
Myers has made several trips back to Normandy, Holland, and Germany. He said he’s planning to go back to Europe next year.
At age 96, Myers lives a very active lifestyle as a dancer, singer, and tennis player.
His message that he hopes to get across, is that America is free.
“If you have faith, and you get strength from that, you can get through it,” said Meyers.
He says it is because of the many soldiers that devote their lives to our country.