WWII veterans honor the memory of those who died in service - WNCN: News, Weather

WWII veterans honor the memory of those who died in service

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The Cypress Club of Raleigh Retirement Community is honoring its own residents for their service to their country, including veterans who served during World War II.

Some of those brave men were World War II veterans George A. Reiss and John P. Irby III.

For both men, they can remember the war very clearly.

"How do you describe combat? You're under fire. You do what you have to do," said Reiss.

Reiss was a combat medic during World War II.

"We wore a red cross on our arm and four red crosses on our helmet which were targets on the SS," said Reiss.

Irby recalls what one soldier did after seven men were wounded.

"Nineteen years old was a medic, he walked out into that minefield and either carried or helped each one of those seven men out of that minefield," said Irby.

Reiss and Irby remember the trauma of war, including when SS soldiers were captured after the Normandy Massacre.

"We treated them every bit as well when we captured them. We eliminated them. And those were orders," said Reiss.

Despite the traumatic images of war, Reiss and Irby continue to look back on the lighter moments, like life-saving near misses when a shell landed near their friend and didn't go off.

But being in war can change a person, and for Reiss and Irby, it certainly changed their lives. Both men lost friends, but now it's about paying respect to those who died.

"My interest now is in honoring those of my class who've been lost," said Irby.

And that's what Irby and Reiss did this Veteran's Day.

The Cypress Club raised about $1,000 for veterans through the Wounded Warrior Project. The Millbrook High School ROTC presented the colors at Monday's event.

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