Bill Ternas was in the Army and was one of many who stormed the beach on D-Day. He says the soldiers at Normandy didn't know to be scared of death. Ternas says idea was just to go and fight for your country. Whether you volunteered or were drafted -- your priority was America.
Bill Ternas was one of nine brothers, five of whom went into the military. As the eldest, Bill was the first of his brothers to enlist at 20.
Farm boys from Shields, North Dakota, Ternas says he and his brothers had an edge over others who joined.
"We were tough, so to speak. Compared to a lot of people we run into that were office people at that time. Or worked in a restaurant," says Ternas.
Ternas says he was pretty good with a gun, helped him earn the rank of corporal police officer in the Army Air Corps.
Deployed to France, Ternas and his men were ordered to protect convoys and ammunition from the enemy.
He says ignorance protected him from what was to come.
"The first thing I saw kinda in a tree kind off there was an arm hanging there with the shoulder on it and part uniform. Kinda stuck in my mind. You know, this is not no kids play," says Ternas.
Four months after they'd arrived, Ternas was sent to Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge.
There he met another man, who was not only from North Dakota, but would also remember him some 50 years later at a veterans party.
"He kept looking at me and he says, 'Were you in the Battle of the Bulge?' I said 'Yeah, I was."' I kinda hesitated. He says you haven't changed all that much," says Ternas.
Another veteran, Herbert Place, volunteered for the navy at age 17.
He says having fought in World War II was something he's glad he did, but people should remember everyone, not jut the survivors.
"The heroes are still there. That's my belief. The young guys that died on the beaches, floating in the water. They're the heroes," says Place.
Both men say they don't dwell too much on the war, because a lot has changed.
TaTiana asked both of them how they feel now, they said lucky to be alive.