Donald M. is an 87-year-old gentleman living in Henniker, NH, who has recently started to reflect on his experience in Normandy while serving in WWII. Donald was part of the amphibious Navy, ferrying soldiers – alive, wounded, and dead – to and from the Landing Ship, Tank (LST). His Wish of a Lifetime was to revisit Normandy. Having witnessed its destruction, it brought peace of mind to witness its reparation. Unfortunately, Donald had not been able to make the trip on his own because of his wife’s ailment; she has recently passed after 65 years of marriage.
Donald doesn’t necessarily refer to himself as a hero; he says that he “did what he was told to do.” Nevertheless, it takes incredible courage and a brave individual to put yourself in the line of fire despite whether or not you are shooting at the enemy. His actions directly enabled those soldiers standing on the line, his bravery brought closure to families who lost sons to war, and his courage and audacity without a doubt aided our victory.
Wish of a Lifetime made Donald’s wish a reality by sending him and his daughter Vicki back to the shores of Normandy, France on November 18, 2012 to reflect on the experience, tour the museums, and gain a sense of closure and peace. And although Donald’s unpretentious character finds it hard to refer to himself as a hero, he absolutely is one and should be acknowledged as such.