“I was supposed to be in the first wave on D-Day. I got sick with pneumonia and was released to a replacement company to come ashore at D+3 or 4. It was the best and most horrible thing that ever happened to me.

Every guy I had trained with from America to England was killed in what was supposed to be my landing craft. I don’t know how they died, but I know from other guys in the battalion that they didn’t make it 100 feet out of the water. Shot up. Burned up. No one survived.

I’ve lived the rest of my entire life with that guilt. Guilt for being glad I wasn’t there, and guilt for not dying with the rest of them. I just hope none of them thought I wasn’t there because I was a Mary.”

– “Donald” 1st Infantry Division. Story submitted by his grandson, James O’Reiley.

-This story was documented by Battles and Beers. Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.

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