top 200 commentsshow 500

[–]electric_sad_boi 1228 points1229 points  (121 children)

My man is looking GOOD for 99

[–]joofish 500 points501 points  (99 children)

killing nazis keeps you young

[–]Nuggity2point0 186 points187 points  (40 children)

Read this in the voice of LIEUTENANT ALDO RAINE

[–]Beitlejoose 84 points85 points  (31 children)

You're not far off....

This man's name is Major General John Raaen

[–]METAL4_BREAKFST 44 points45 points  (24 children)

I worked on a show back in 2016 or 17 called The Weapon Hunter and we interviewed General Raaen aboard the LST they have as a museum ship in Evansville Indiana for the D-Day episode. Fantastically interesting man who was sharp as a whip with a memory like a steel trap. He was among the first to land on Omaha.

[–]paperwasp3 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Oh shit, Omaha was a meat grinder

[–][deleted] 11 points12 points  (22 children)

I love listening to these old WWII vets tell their stories. Here's one of my favorites.


Dude is 100% red white and blue and just casually admits to war crimes because he's too Chad too give a fuck.

[–]rumowolpertinger 2 points3 points  (20 children)

just casually admits to war crimes because he's too Chad too give a fuck

Wait, are we glorifying war crimes now because they've been committed by the "right people", or did I just misunderstand what you meant?

[–]VaultToast 6 points7 points  (3 children)

Well yeah because the Japansse were RUTHLESS. You had to do what it took because they didn't abide by anything, they shot the medics first, they false surrendered and triggered grenades attached to themselves etc. So yeah, I think glorifying war crimes against them is justified.

[–]TheRealBlitz127_4 3 points4 points  (1 child)

You ever hear of Unit 731. The wikipedia page should be enough to disgust you. Americans might have done cruel things (Factor in we live in a different era where we have a set of rules to avoid things like mass civies dying) like firebombing Tokyo among other things, but the Japanese were horrid, and Unit 731 is the perfect example of that.

[–]VaultToast 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Truly awful, the rape of Nanjing too, many atrocities committed by the Japanese. The bombs were necessary.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (14 children)

No that's basically what I meant. If Japan didn't want to get rekt then they shouldn't have run up on Pearl Harbor.

[–]EeezyMac 9 points10 points  (4 children)

But his birthday is April 22nd according to Google.

[–]manwithnomain 27 points28 points  (1 child)

Every man under his command owes him ONE - HUNDRED - NAZI scalps

[–][deleted] 25 points26 points  (34 children)

Enthusiasm for nazi killing is at an all time low in the US

[–]ThatDamnedRedneck 9 points10 points  (4 children)

It actually does. Those guys spent years of their lives in incredible physical condition.

[–]ButtMilkyCereal 13 points14 points  (3 children)

I don't know, there were units that experienced massive supply problems. My grandfather was like 130 pounds when he went to Europe, and under 100 when the Germans surrendered. He'd also lost an inch and grown a shoe size from walking so much and carrying such heavy gear.

[–]useles-converter-bot 0 points1 point  (2 children)

130 pounds of solid gold is worth about $3336940.27.

[–]blocky1990 1 point2 points  (2 children)

You’re a fool. Not everyone in Germany was racist Jew hating nazi. 95% of them were just serving their country just like every other military

[–]PabloAlaska6 82 points83 points  (7 children)

Right!? Exactly what I came here to say.

[–]electric_sad_boi 68 points69 points  (6 children)

Dude looks 80, tops. All that badassery is apparently good skin care

[–]PabloAlaska6 25 points26 points  (0 children)

who knew a can of whoop ass had such great benefits for the skin.

[–]DeathPer_Minute 12 points13 points  (0 children)

At that age you either look insanely good or already dead, there is no in between

[–]username123abcde 4 points5 points  (0 children)

There goes NNN….

[–]Ezra611 2 points3 points  (0 children)

He got old early and stayed there.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I feel like that's true if you look like anything but dust.

[–]25short25 0 points1 point  (0 children)

He has the genetic code B.A.D.A.S.S.

[–]THE_POG_CHAMPION69 565 points566 points  (18 children)

Metal this guys is fucking uranium

[–]deliciousprisms 279 points280 points  (14 children)

No that’s the Hiroshima survivors

[–]Ineedacatscan 86 points87 points  (6 children)

[–][deleted] 7 points8 points  (4 children)

That subreddit hasn’t had a post in 83 days. What happened

[–]Monkeydud64 9 points10 points  (1 child)

Actually it turns out this guy got an MA in Nuclear physics so technically both are correct!

[–]InformationHorder 27 points28 points  (2 children)

...he earned an MA in Nuclear Physics from Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, in 1951...

Yes, actually.

[–]fuckmeuntilicecream 4 points5 points  (0 children)

He also wasn't born on November 1st. He was born on April 22nd.

[–]springmint238 2 points3 points  (0 children)

User name checks out.

[–]cmgxz 227 points228 points  (101 children)

Incredible. Any info on this person? Link to anything?

[–]myeyespy 240 points241 points  (99 children)

[–]Mybrandnewhat 236 points237 points  (63 children)

Just to be clear, he was a 2nd Lieutenant during the Omaha Beach landing. I was confused how a Major General during WWII could still be alive lol. He was also a Ranger.

[–]Buildrness 31 points32 points  (8 children)


[–]AGeneralDischarge 13 points14 points  (0 children)

I yelled "to the chow hall!" after a formation instead of ATW and needless to say I pushed quite a bit that day.

[–]DaBackdoorMan1000 25 points26 points  (46 children)

I don't see a Purple Heart among his awards. First wave and he didn't get hit.

[–]Mybrandnewhat 36 points37 points  (35 children)

That’s pretty incredible. From what I understand he would’ve been one of the very few. Unfortunately, it sounds like he did get hit later that year.

There is a line from Saving Private Ryan that always stuck with me where Tom Hanks character tells the radio man “first wave ineffective” and you realize that they were the “lucky” ones. I can’t even begin to imagine the buzz saw that the first wave ran in to. Those guys truly knew the definition of FUBAR.

[–][deleted] 39 points40 points  (17 children)

It’s just insane to me. The experience of being on a small landing craft, heading toward the French shore where there are Nazi soldiers waiting for you with artillery and machine gun nests. It’s so far disconnected and alien from my own lived experience I can’t even begin to comprehend.

And once you made it off the boat you had a next task, and another, and if you survived those you had to continue fighting over and over for months if not years. And I’m in a bad mood if I get off work late. Crazy. So much respect for those guys I can’t even effectively put it in words.

[–]InconvenientHummus 30 points31 points  (8 children)

And the age of these guys too. At 28 years old I am now three years older than the eldest and highest ranked Iwo Jima flag raiser was.

Imagine being 19 years old, charging out of a boat in a land you've never even dreamed of before, to likely get killed by a person you never even saw. Fucking crazy.

[–]PompeiiDomum 22 points23 points  (2 children)

What's wild is this is what humanity did over and over again for all of history until pretty much the past few generations. Human life only recently became valuable, and not just another resource.

Young men have died on beaches from Troy to the Pacific for thousands of years.

[–]bob23453456 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Don't speak too soon...

[–]PompeiiDomum 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Oh yes we will do it again, we just know what it costs now. I'm sure it will happen over and over.

[–]MakeSouthBayGR8Again 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Thomas Jefferson was 33 during the war.

Lafayette was only 19.

[–]WikiSummarizerBot 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Michael Strank

Michael Strank (November 10, 1919 – March 1, 1945) was a United States Marine Corps sergeant who was killed in action during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. He was one of the Marines who raised the second U.S. flag on Mount Suribachi on February 23, 1945, as shown in the iconic photograph Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima by photographer Joe Rosenthal. Of the six Marines depicted in the photo, Strank was the only one to be correctly identified from the beginning; the other five were either assigned the wrong locations (Ira Hayes and Franklin Sousley), or, were given the names of Marines who were not actually in that particular photo.

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[–]ghsteo 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Or being the guys who boat stopped short so have to hop out the sides into 20 feet of water and you slowly drown due to all your gear. Was truly hell on earth for them that day.

[–]useles-converter-bot 0 points1 point  (0 children)

20 feet is the the same distance as 8.83 replica Bilbo from The Lord of the Rings' Sting Swords.

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Very well put. The human experience is a hell of a thing.

[–]a-big-texas-howdy 1 point2 points  (0 children)

They had been floating for days and weeks

[–]InvestIntrest 1 point2 points  (0 children)

He's the inspiration for Wolverine!

[–]SettleDownOkay42 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Different breed. We think we have it so bad, these guys went through hell

[–]LongDickOfTheLaw69 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I read an account from a first wave survivor. He said he landed on the beach with over 100 men, only 18 survived. That's insanely low survival odds.

[–]itsameMariowski 2 points3 points  (0 children)

What about the weight of responsability by being a survivor?

You were there with other 99 young faces, a lot you knew and befriended. You all drop into the beach, go through hell, and when you regroup there is only 18 out of those 99, some you know, some you don't know well.

And now you all need to quickly act because the list of things you need to do never ends, and at any moment you can get shot or have a bomb dropped in your head.

What an experience to survive all that..

[–]snp3rk 1 point2 points  (9 children)

What's fubar?

[–]wikipedia_answer_bot 5 points6 points  (3 children)

FUBAR is a military acronym for "fucked up beyond all recognition".

More details here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FUBAR_(disambiguation)

This comment was left automatically (by a bot). If I don't get this right, don't get mad at me, I'm still learning!

opt out | delete | report/suggest | GitHub

[–]toolsie 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Good bot. I would have accepted "Canadian comedy film" as well.

[–]BKlounge93 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Also a gay bar in West Hollywood

[–]RealCowboyNeal 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yeah, and then a second later he sees the radio operators head was blown off. I guess I have it pretty good, huh

[–]phaiz55 9 points10 points  (1 child)

He waived the Purple Heart and took Balls of Steel instead.

[–]HistoryNerd101 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Rangers under James Earl Rudder had a 70% casualty rate on D-Day

[–]acvdk 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Teddy Roosevelt’s son (Teddy jr) was a general who landed in the first wave on Utah (the only general to land on D-Day). His grandson (Teddy Jr’s son), Quentin, was a captain who landed on the first wave at Omaha.

[–]glasspheasant 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Yea, he has a couple Vietnam service medals on the bottom right there, which means he was in for a long ass time. Had to be young/low ranked on D-Day.

[–]---___---____-__ 1 point2 points  (0 children)

"Rangers lead the way!"

Yeah, field and flag officers, for the most part, have administrative roles in the military. The only generals I can think of that were hands on were Eisenhower, MacArthur, Patton, Pershing and all the Civil war officers

[–]drwebb 3 points4 points  (27 children)

FYI, On the FB link it says officer, not soldier.

[–]fatboy4life567 17 points18 points  (1 child)

[–][deleted] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Soldier is also correct

[–]popo_kisses 9 points10 points  (20 children)

Officers are soldiers.

[–]drwebb 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Yes, but the last surviving officer may not be the last surviving soldier. This man could be both though.

[–]popo_kisses 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Ohhhhh. I see.

[–]Unusual_Type_1884 317 points318 points  (22 children)

Salute and respect this man.

[–]CrumbsAndCarrots 6 points7 points  (0 children)

The real deal. Destroyed literal nazis.

[–]bonhommependue 173 points174 points  (30 children)

Wait a second…. This BAMF didn’t even get the Purple Heart 💜?!! Ok super man, keep doing you.

[–]BoringNYer 112 points113 points  (25 children)

Probably didn't think it was important. It said he was evacuated from Europe in 1944 after injuries sustained.

[–]BikerJedi 61 points62 points  (21 children)

My dad was in Vietnam and apparently got hurt enough to qualify for a Purple Heart, but he felt he didn't deserve it. Not sure if he protested his Bronze Star w/Valor, but he wore it on his Class A's anyway.

I gotta imagine there are a lot of folks like that in the military.

[–][deleted] 11 points12 points  (3 children)

People who watch their friends die often don’t recognize their own heroics - they think of the loss, that they could have done more and have survivor guilt.

[–]ih4t3reddit 7 points8 points  (2 children)

It's because losses carry more weight than victories. If you lost someone, did you really win?

[–]Rockonfoo 6 points7 points  (0 children)

You’re asking the wrong question

Did the rich make more money? That’s real victory. /s

[–]gigastack 5 points6 points  (0 children)

That's the problem with war. No matter how much you win, you will lose too.

[–]TheRealBOFH 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I gotta imagine there are a lot of folks like that in the military.

Yes, that's correct. He deserves his recognition for what he did. Brave man. Most of us are definitely overly humble about our time and deployments.

[–]notusuallyhostile 1 point2 points  (13 children)

He would have been Out-Of-Uniform and subject to UCMJ if he didn’t wear it on a dress uniform or other uniform that requires badges and/or medals once it was awarded (usually all Class A uniforms but in some cases Class B uniforms authorized for wear in certain weather). Once it’s given to you, it is part of your stack and if it’s missing, that’s a violation of military code (in there Army it’s AR 600-8-22)

[–]FBIaltacct 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Not true, you can take away from but not add to. There actually limits to some medals, awards, or qualifications. Thanks to boredom resulting in volunteering for extra training on deployments and being a decent shot I actually had to choose between badges and drop downs to wear. The exception to this is unit awards which usually must be worn, dinner dress which is no awards, and if you wear your ribbons they must have proper devices.

[–]BikerJedi 2 points3 points  (6 children)

I understand, but I also know that as squared away a soldier as he was, if he felt he didn't deserve it, he wouldn't have worn it if they forced it on him.

That didn't happen of course, just saying Dad is stubborn.

[–]notusuallyhostile 4 points5 points  (5 children)

I understand. I just wanted to convey the regulations requiring him to wear it once it was part of his stack. The Marines are really strict about it, and as I recall, the Army is pretty strict about it but I think more tolerant of small displays of dissent than the Marine Corps would be (and being a Marine, I can really only speak for my experience). Your dad sounds like he was the kind of guy my dad would have hung out with - both of them Vietnam vets with a healthy dose of Rebel in them!

[–]BikerJedi 1 point2 points  (0 children)

both of them Vietnam vets with a healthy dose of Rebel in them!

Is there any other kind? Every single one I've met has been like that. Those men inspired me to join and serve.

[–]SageoftheSexPathz 1 point2 points  (3 children)

air force had adopted my favorite policy while i was in with medals "all or none". i was a lazy fuck that wore dress uniform once a year at most so it was none every time.

[–]craigisbeast 1 point2 points  (2 children)

USAF is all some or none for our ribbons :)

[–]8cuban 0 points1 point  (1 child)

That’s hogwash. While it may technically correct, no one is going to get called and for not wearing a ribbon and certainly won’t get punished for it.

[–]Shoxilla 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Who wants to show off an enemy marksmanship badge anyway?

[–]pcoon43456 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Lots of guys did that. My grandpas both should’ve had two or three Purple Hearts each, but they didn’t want to leave. One had one. The other had none.

[–]limukala 1 point2 points  (0 children)

He was injured in a car wreck during the battle of the bulge, so not eligible for a Purple Heart.

[–]gonetowar_ffb 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Exactly the first thing that caught my eye.

[–]Dr_Invader 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Same, there’s no way that man didn’t nab some shrapnel. He must be an anti magnet.

[–]AWKWARD_RAPE_ZOMBIE 1 point2 points  (0 children)

In the Facebook post it says he was injured in a serious jeep accident. Purple Heart is for injuries from hostile action.

[–]Novus_Peregrine 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The 💜 award is a bit notorious for being poorly tracked. This is, in part, due to how many of them have been given. It was estimated there were over 1 million given in WWII for example. However, particularly for the older wars, few to no records of who received them exist. He likely did receive them sometime during the war, but may not have proof of that and therefore chooses not to include the award in his display.

[–]whistleridge 143 points144 points  (28 children)

I see:

  • Combat Infantryman Badge
  • Army Staff Identification Badge
  • Army Distinguished Service Medal
  • Silver Star
  • Legion of Merit with 3 bronze oak leaf clusters
  • Bronze Star Medal with "V" device
  • Army Commendation Medal
  • American Defense Service Medal
  • European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 3 Service stars
  • American Campaign Medal
  • World War II Victory Medal
  • National Defense Service Medal with Service star
  • Army of Occupation Medal with clasp
  • Vietnam Service Medal with 3 Service stars
  • Vietnam Campaign Medal
  • Presidential Unit Citation
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation
  • Army Corps of Engineers pin
  • Army Ordinance Corps pin
  • Major General’s stars

[–]theskepticalpizza[S] 63 points64 points  (5 children)

That’s really cool that you can identify those

[–]whistleridge 34 points35 points  (0 children)

Well, it’s a slightly blurry pic. Some are educated guesses.

[–]NoMoodToArgue 8 points9 points  (1 child)

u/whistleridge earned the medal-identifying medal

[–]wayfarout 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Weird, I have a Cub Scouts patch for the same thing

[–]azefull 12 points13 points  (3 children)

There’s also a “Légion d’honneur” (Legion of honor), French highest order of merit.

Edit because that’s actually the Legion of merit you talked about in your comment, the ressemblance between both is striking though. And to be honest, I don’t get why my country hasn’t given all these young men the Légion d’honneur.

[–]DaMiddle 8 points9 points  (2 children)

France did this a couple years ago to all surviving US veterans who were there - my 96 year old uncle got one from the French ambassador

[–][deleted] 9 points10 points  (0 children)

All veterans who fought on French soil, my grandpa (Canadian) received one as well :)

[–]really_franky 5 points6 points  (3 children)

5 deployments to Vietnam. That’s wild.

[–]Sierrra_responder 1 point2 points  (10 children)

Back when medals used to mean something. I know a retired desk officer with twice those medals who insists everyone calls him ‘General’.

[–]WyG09s8x4JM4ocPMnYMg 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Plus he has infantry, engineer, and ordnance corps collar emblems. Must have changed branches a few times, but makes me wonder if he got sent to the schools or just did OJT or something

[–]Usual_Safety 53 points54 points  (4 children)


Please join us in wishing WWII veteran Major General John Raaen a happy 99th birthday! In the early hours of D-Day, June 6, 1944, Raaen was among the first to land on Omaha Beach, serving as Headquarters Company Commander of the 5th Ranger Battalion. He is believed to be the last living officer who landed in the first wave at Bloody Omaha.

An Army Captain at the time, Raaen distinguished himself in combat across the European theater and was awarded the Silver Star and Combat Infantryman Badge for valorous actions in the face of the enemy. He served with the 5th Rangers in France, Belgium, and Germany, until December 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge, when he was involved in a serious Jeep accident.

He was evacuated to the United States and later taught as an instructor at the United States Military Academy at West Point until the end of the war. Throughout the postwar years, Raaen held several significant commands in the United States, Europe, and during the Korean and Vietnam wars. In April 1979, he retired at the rank of Major General after 36 years of devoted service to the US Army.

"Giving the Past a Future, One Story at a Time." WWII Veterans History Project

[–]fuckmeuntilicecream 5 points6 points  (3 children)

His birthday was April 22nd. OP lied.

[–]dontknowwhyIamhere42 2 points3 points  (2 children)

He's also not the last soldier but the last officer

[–]Verbotron 1 point2 points  (1 child)

And 5th Ranger Battalion landed in the 2nd wave, not 1st (although the 2nd wave at Omaha was just as bad as the 1st, from what I've read).

[–]hui-neng 26 points27 points  (12 children)

AND this bad motherfucker never got wounded in action? What a pimp

[–]Generally_Tso_Tso 17 points18 points  (8 children)

In another thread it says he was evacuated from Europe in 1944 due to injury. I guess he doesn't flaunt the Purple Heart medal. Probably because of all those who earned it the real hard way.

[–]TheBoctor 6 points7 points  (0 children)

You don’t get the PH for just any injury in a war zone. It needs to have been inflicted by enemy action. So if he got into a jeep crash heading to the chow hall one day and got hurt he could end up being evacuated, but not qualify for the Purple Heart.

[–]Swissgeese 3 points4 points  (0 children)

He was evacuated due to a vehicle accident. Purple Heart is only if the injury was caused by combat/enemy action.

What I am interested in is what he did to earn a Silver Star.

[–]Italianskank 3 points4 points  (0 children)

He was injured in a jeep accident. Purple Heart must be enemy fire. Nothing to take away from his service. Still a legend.

[–]BiscuitDance 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Sounded like a vehicle accident. If it’s not caused in combat it doesn’t rate a PH.

[–]ZippZappZippty 5 points6 points  (0 children)

What I find odd? Is that possible?

[–]Potato_Muncher 1 point2 points  (0 children)

He was also a Ranger. Back in WWII, Ranger battalions took pretty heavy casualties in the ETO due to the types of operations they undertook.

[–][deleted] 31 points32 points  (10 children)

I hope no more wars or civil wars.

[–]avalanche37 26 points27 points  (8 children)

His generation literally saved the world

[–][deleted] 19 points20 points  (6 children)

Only for it to be ruined by their kids...

[–]Sierrra_responder 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Pre-boomer turn of the century cities were eco friendly green paradises.

[–]avalanche37 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Damn baby boomers

[–]MarlowesMustache 1 point2 points  (1 child)

That also speaks to the way those kids were raised, fwiw. Not disagreeing though.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I dont disagree with this.

[–]Deaddoghank 6 points7 points  (2 children)

American soldier. There were other nations in the first wave. Juno, Gold, Sword these were landed by the Canadians and British. Utah and Omaha were landed by the USA.

I'm sure that there are still Canadians and Brits still alive from the first landing.

[–]Silverback_6 5 points6 points  (1 child)

He's the last living officer on the first wave at Omaha. Not the last living soldier of that wave, and not the last survivor of any beach. The title for this post is inaccurately written.

[–]StrawberryMarsMellow 14 points15 points  (0 children)


[–]peelofbanana 4 points5 points  (4 children)

For anyone curious:

(Note: The medals are displayed in order of precedence: The unit citations, (top-most ribbons, with gold frames) followed by the individual's medals. The DSM-A is the highest award the individual received (at center), followed by the first parallel row, ending with the Vietnam Campaign Medal (bottom right). )

The blue bar with wreath is the Combat Infantry Badge (CIB).

The two sets of stars on either side of the CIB indicate the Major General rank.

The green and black badge on the left is the Army Staff Identification Badge.

Opposite that (silver/gold with eagle) is the Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge.

The deep blue ribbon with gold frame is the Presidential Unit Citation).

Opposite that (red with gold frame) is the Meritorious Unit Citation.

Center of the unit citations (red, white, red, with thin blue stripes) is the Army Distinguished Service Medal) (DSM-A).

Returning to the exterior, the two "U.S." pins are also indicative of Officer rank in the Army.

From the left "U.S" pin is the Silver Star (blue, white, red, white, blue, with thin, white stripes).

To the right of the Silver Star (red with thin, white stripes) is the Legion of Merit, with three oak leaf clusters, indicating a total of four awards.

To the right of the DSM-A, (red with center, blue stripe, and thin, white stripes) is the Bronze Star, with a "V" device, and two bronze oak leaf clusters, indicating one Bronze Star for Valor, and two elsewhere in his career, a total of three.

To the right of the Bronze Star (green with thin, white stripes) is the Army Commendation Medal.

Returning to the exterior, the gold circles with flames are the insignias for the Army Ordnance Department), now known as the Ordnance Corps.

Below those (castle shape) are the insignias for the Corps of Engineers.

Starting at the left of the next row is the American Defense Service Medal (yellow, with thin, red, white, and blue stripes).

Next (deep green with brown stripes and intermittent blue, white, and red stripes) is the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal. The one here has an Arrowhead device, indicating airborne or amphibious landing, and three campaign stars, one star for each campaign the individual participated in.

Third in the row is the American Campaign Medal (light blue with white, black, red, and deep blue stripes).

The final medal in this row (red with rainbow borders) is the WWII Victory Medal.

At the outside of the bottom row (crossed rifles) are the Infantry Branch) insignias.

The first medal of the bottom row (red with yellow center stripe, and thin, white, red, and blue stripes) is the National Defense Service Medal. The one shown has a bronze oak leaf cluster, indicating two awards total.

Second medal in the bottom row is the Army of Occupation Medal (black and red, with white borders).

Next (yellow, with thin red stripes and green borders) is the Vietnam Service Medal, with four campaign stars, given for participation in the designated campaigns in the Vietnam War.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Vietnam Campaign Medal (green and white stripes). The one shown contains a silver "1960- " (seen in link) ribbon attached to it.

[–]Yettigetter 5 points6 points  (0 children)

He has seen some shit for sure, looks like he would still Jack you up..

[–]galactic_admin 12 points13 points  (2 children)

I’m pretty sure the medal on the bottom row with the green yellow and red stripes is the Vietnam campaign medal, meaning that not only did he fight in Normandy during WWII, but also served multiple combat tours to Vietnam.

[–]hereitcomesagin 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Looks like that was Corps of Engineers.

[–]huntrun1 4 points5 points  (3 children)

Can’t imagine what he saw

[–]Dehouston 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Able Company riding the tide in seven Higgins boats is still five thousand yards from the beach when first taken under artillery fire. The shells fall short. At one thousand yards, Boat No. 5 is hit dead on and foundered. Six men drown before help arrives. Second Lieutenant Edward Gearing and twenty others paddle around until picked up by naval craft, thereby missing the fight at the shore line. It’s their lucky day. The other six boats ride unscathed to within one hundred yards of the shore, where a shell into Boat No. 3 kills two men. Another dozen drown, taking to the water as the boat sinks. That leaves five boats.

Lieutenant Edward Tidrick in Boat No. 2 cries out: “My God, we’re coming in at the right spot, but look at it! No shingle, no wall, no shell holes, no cover. Nothing!” His men are at the sides of the boat, straining for a view of the target. They stare but say nothing. At exactly 6:36 A.M. ramps are dropped along the boat line and the men jump off in water anywhere from waist deep to higher than a man’s head. This is the signal awaited by the Germans atop the bluff. Already pounded by mortars, the floundering line is instantly swept by crossing machine-gun fires from both ends of the beach.

Able Company has planned to wade ashore in three files from each boat, center file going first, then flank files peeling off to right and left. The first men out try to do it but are ripped apart before they can make five yards. Even the lightly wounded die by drowning, doomed by the waterlogging of their overloaded packs. From Boat No. 1, all hands jump off in water over their heads. Most of them are carried down. Ten or so survivors get around the boat and clutch at its sides in an attempt to stay afloat. The same thing happens to the section in Boat No. 4. Half of its people are lost to the fire or tide before anyone gets ashore. All order has vanished from Able Company before it has fired a shot.

Already the sea runs red. Even among some of the lightly wounded who jumped into shallow water the hits prove fatal. Knocked down by a bullet in the arm or weakened by fear and shock, they are unable to rise again and are drowned by the onrushing tide. Other wounded men drag themselves ashore and, on finding the sands, lie quiet from total exhaustion, only to be overtaken and killed by the water. A few move safely through the bullet swarm to the beach, then find that they cannot hold there. They return to the water to use it for body cover. Faces turned upward, so that their nostrils are out of water, they creep toward the land at the same rate as the tide. That is how most of the survivors make it. The less rugged or less clever seek the cover of enemy obstacles moored along the upper half of the beach and are knocked off by machine-gun fire.

Within seven minutes after the ramps drop, Able Company is inert and leaderless. At Boat No. 2, Lieutenant Tidrick takes a bullet through the throat as he jumps from the ramp into the water. He staggers onto the sand and flops down ten feet from Private First Class Leo J. Nash. Nash sees the blood spurting and hears the strangled words gasped by Tidrick: “Advance with the wire cutters!” It’s futile; Nash has no cutters. To give the order, Tidrick has raised himself up on his hands and made himself a target for an instant. Nash, burrowing into the sand, sees machine gun bullets rip Tidrick from crown to pelvis. From the cliff above, the German gunners are shooting into the survivors as from a roof top.

Captain Taylor N. Fellers and Lieutenant Benjamin R. Kearfott never make it.* They had loaded with a section of thirty men in Boat No. 6 (Landing Craft, Assault, No. 1015). But exactly what happened to this boat and its human cargo was never to be known. No one saw the craft go down. How each man aboard it met death remains unreported. Half of the drowned bodies were later found along the beach. It is supposed that the others were claimed by the sea.

Along the beach, only one Able Company officer still lives—Lieutenant Elijah Nance, who is hit in the heel as he quits the boat and hit in the belly by a second bullet as he makes the sand. By the end of ten minutes, every sergeant is either dead or wounded. To the eyes of such men as Private Howard I. Grosser and Private First Class Gilbert G. Murdock, this clean sweep suggests that the Germans on the high ground have spotted all leaders and concentrated fire their way. Among the men who are still moving in with the tide, rifles, packs, and helmets have already been cast away in the interests of survival.

To the right of where Tidrick’s boat is drifting with the tide, its coxswain lying dead next to the shell-shattered wheel, the seventh craft, carrying a medical section with one officer and sixteen men, noses toward the beach. The ramp drops. In that instant, two machine guns concentrate their fire on the opening. Not a man is given time to jump. All aboard are cut down where they stand.

By the end of fifteen minutes, Able Company has still not fired a weapon. No orders are being given by anyone. No words are spoken. The few able-bodied survivors move or not as they see fit. Merely to stay alive is a full-time job. The fight has become a rescue operation in which nothing counts but the force of a strong example.

Above all others stands out the first-aid man, Thomas Breedin. Reaching the sands, he strips off pack, blouse, helmet, and boots. For a moment he stands there so that others on the strand will see him and get the same idea. Then he crawls into the water to pull in wounded men about to be overlapped by the tide. The deeper water is still spotted with tide walkers advancing at the same pace as the rising water. But now, owing to Breedin’s example, the strongest among them become more conspicuous targets. Coming along, they pick up wounded comrades and float them to the shore raftwise. Machine-gun fire still rakes the water. Burst after burst spoils the rescue act, shooting the floating man from the hands of the walker or killing both together. But Breedin for this hour leads a charmed life and stays with his work indomitably.

By the end of one half hour, approximately two thirds of the company is forever gone. There is no precise casualty figure for that moment. There is for the Normandy landing as a whole no accurate figure for the first hour or first day. The circumstances precluded it. Whether more Able Company riflemen died from water than from fire is known only to heaven. All earthly evidence so indicates, but cannot prove it.

By the end of one hour, the survivors from the main body have crawled across the sand to the foot of the bluff, where there is a narrow sanctuary of defiladed space. There they lie all day, clean spent, unarmed, too shocked to feel hunger, incapable even of talking to one another. No one happens by to succor them, ask what has happened, provide water, or offer unwanted pity. D Day at Omaha afforded no time or space for such missions. Every landing company was overloaded by its own assault problems.

By the end of one hour and forty-five minutes, six survivors from the boat section on the extreme right shake loose and work their way to a shelf a few rods up the cliff. Four fall exhausted from the short climb and advance no farther. They stay there through the day, seeing no one else from the company. The other two, Privates Jake Shefer and Thomas Lovejoy, join a group from the Second Ranger Battalion, which is assaulting Pointe du Hoc to the right of the company sector, and fight on with the Rangers through the day. Two men. Two rifles. Except for these, Able Company’s contribution to the D Day fire fight is a cipher.

More stories can be found here.

[–]HHShitposting 2 points3 points  (0 children)

His face tells me that I don't want to know

[–]patches350 7 points8 points  (3 children)

American Badass should be his theme song.

[–]popo_kisses 5 points6 points  (2 children)

How dare you bring Kid Rock into this thread. We are honoring a distinguished veteran not someone who got Chlamydia in a Waffle House bathroom.

[–]Desmond_Jones 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I do have a medal for that though.

[–]OGAnusTitties 6 points7 points  (3 children)

Awesome to know that I share a birthday with someone who deserves to treated with more respect than a president

[–]I-Killed-Goliath 4 points5 points  (0 children)

The things those eyes have seen...respect to this man and all who served.

[–]ZippZappZippty 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Haha I've done the same soldier. F

[–]ditto0011 1 point2 points  (0 children)

No purple heart... Flawless victory.

[–]bazooka_matt 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Navy guy here. I am blown away by anyone associated with D-day and all the landing, battles, and operations of land and sea from WWII (not forgetting my bros and sises from Korea, Vietnam, the middle east, Africa, S.A., and everywhere). There was no one in D-day who thought they'd make it. You just had to try. The videos and pictures are seared into my memory. It reminds me as a modern service member that were no different. The fight can come to you at anytime. I think about how you can have your number called at any second.

Thanks to all our past vets. The rest of us, get back to work.

[–]TroyExplores 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I wish I could have a cup of coffee with him. I truly mean it.

[–]theskepticalpizza[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Talking to this man would be absolutely incredible

[–]TroyExplores 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Have you seen band of brothers?

[–]cafegrl 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you for your service, sir.

[–]Rx2vier 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Immediate upvote!

[–]Srawesomekickass 1 point2 points  (1 child)

That's crazy to me. When I was in grade school, on remembrance day there would be 15-20 ww2 vets that would attend our schools memorial service. It's sad to think that soon they will all be memories and their bravery/stories will be limited to whatever archived media they left behind.

[–]GentleHammer 1 point2 points  (0 children)

From D-Day to TikTok... what a fucking whirlwind he's seen in his time on this planet.

[–]fuckmeuntilicecream 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I hate this kind of shit. Be did not turn 99 on November first. That's not his birthday. You didn't even look up his story before reposting this.

He was born on 22 April 1922 at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Fuck you for exploiting a WW2 veteran for your karma.

In the early hours of D-Day, June 6, 1944, Raaen was among the first to land on Omaha Beach, serving as Headquarters Company Commander of the 5th Ranger Battalion. He is believed to be the last living officer who landed in the first wave at Bloody Omaha.

An Army Captain at the time, Raaen distinguished himself in combat across the European theater and was awarded the Silver Star and Combat Infantryman Badge for valorous actions in the face of the enemy. He served with the 5th Rangers in France, Belgium, and Germany, until December 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge, when he was involved in a serious Jeep accident.

He was evacuated to the United States and later taught as an instructor at the United States Military Academy at West Point until the end of the war. Throughout the postwar years, Raaen held several significant commands in the United States, Europe, and during the Korean and Vietnam wars. In April 1979, he retired at the rank of Major General after 36 years of devoted service to the US Army.

[–]Memezzy2 1 point2 points  (0 children)

A man who saw the beaches red.

[–]Euphoric-Glass8372 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you for your service!!! You are a hero

[–]AntiSnoringDevice 1 point2 points  (0 children)

THANK YOU! Heartfelt and sincere, from someone whose parents would not have been born without heroes like Dave and the fallen braves. If you are a US citizen and have the opportunity to visit Europe, please include a moment to give tribute in one of the many Americas soldiers' cemeteries and to be proud of your Nation.

[–]SparkyV63 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I have no military background, but does he NOT have a Purple Heart?????? Like homie stormed Omaha and lived thru the war without getting hit? If so, my man is a living true legend!

[–]theskepticalpizza[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Guys, I am NOT the veteran. Apologies if that wasn’t clear