World War II veteran: 'D-Day changed me from a boy to a man' - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

World War II veteran: 'D-Day changed me from a boy to a man'

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) - June 6 marks the seventy-first anniversary of D-Day, the day tens of thousands of allied soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy in efforts to free France from Nazi control.

It's a day in American history that is never forgotten, especially by those who still live to tell the story.

If you ask Verle Buck what D-Day means to him, "it means I'm still here I guess," he'll reply.

He spent his years in World War II as a combat engineer.

On D-Day, he was one of he first to storm the beaches in Normandy, clearing the area for obstacles.

Life before the war, he worked maintenance at Rath Packing Company in Waterloo.

He says D-Day changed him from a boy to a man.

"I didn't realize what war was like until I was being shot at and thought 'huh, this is a different situation than what I'm used to,'" he said.

Even though the medals, honors, and personally addressed letters from the president mean the world to him, he'll never forget those who lost their world that day.

"I wish we didn't have to think about it but we do. Poor, poor people getting killed by some stupid Nazi with their leader Hitler. It's hard to go by, but life has to go on."

And it does, through his story and the many others who risked everything on June 6, 1944.

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