Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army World War II Veteran John R. Sudyk.

John served with the 187th Field Artillery Battalion. In an interview with the Veterans History Project, John shared his journey across Europe, fighting in some of the most prominent battles of World War II. From landing at Omaha Beach for the Normandy invasion, to witnessing the liberation of Paris and Luxembourg and surviving the Battle of the Bulge, he recounts World War II through the eyes of a 20-year-old American soldier.

John recalled his memories of June 6 as he and the others were forced to wait on their landing craft at Omaha Beach. “We’re sitting out there watching the whole show, watching the planes strafing the hills, the beach, the bluffs and the battleships shell the coastline,” he said. “They were digging a trench along the beach area. It had all these bodies of American soldiers lined up to bury them temporarily in this grave on the beach. It was complete devastation.”

John described his experience liberating Paris and Luxembourg as particularly emotional. He remembered coming upon a World War I battlefield memorial site. “There were crosses on the right with velvety green grass and it struck us looking at this. Anytime one of our GIs got killed and the bodies laying on the side of the road were waiting for grave registration, they would come and cover them up with their raincoats and put flowers on fallen American soldiers.”

John hopes others realize what our Veterans have gone through “to give them the freedoms they enjoy today and how lucky and fortunate they are.”

Thank you for your service, John!


Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to newmedia@va.gov with as much of the information as you can put together with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating for how to create the best submission.

Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.

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Published on Jan. 11, 2017

Estimated reading time is 2.1 min.

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One Comment

  1. Lee Swendsen January 18, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Thank-You so much for your sacrifice! You generation was the BEST. There are billions of people worldwide that should be showing their gratitude for what your generation has done for world freedom.

    Myself, joined the NAVY in 1966 while still a junior in H.S. Went to boot several days after graduating. Actually was in USNR. Attended A-School in Memphis; January 1968. The program called for two years active duty. Was released in April 1970. Not yet 21yo.

    Our society needs heroes like you to tell it like it was; the hardship, sacrifice, hardwork, what it means when a man gives his word, what true friendship is. All the sights, sounds, orders, deprived sleep, running on empty. When l was coming up, people such as your self were my mentors and would never think twice about addressing them by anything other than Mister or Mam. Now when the phone rings it’s Eric or Mary but never Mr. or Miss or your surname. Total lack of respect, not just in polite manners but all facets of life.

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