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Forever a Soldier: Unforgettable Stories of Wartime Service

Chapter One: On the Front Lines

The terrains change, the face of the enemy may be different, but so much, ranging from Pearl Harbor to the beaches and trenches of France to the jungles of Vietnam to the deserts of the Middle East, has a familiar ring. There are the physical hardships that can't be mitigated by advanced technology. There is the noise, the confusion, the chaos, and the uncertainty of battle, no matter how great the odds are in your favor. And there is the longing for peace, for the calm of a day without bullets or bombs.

One Man's Story - Albert M. Hassenzahl

Albert M. Hassenzahl

When paratrooper Albert Hassenzahl landed in France in the early morning darkness of June 6, 1944, he wasn't alone. But for a moment, with no one--friend or foe--visible, it did seem that way. He was wounded a short time later and evacuated, but he returned to Europe to participate in the Market Garden operation and the Battle of the Bulge. Hassenzahl recorded his war memories years later, alone in his study, after a younger neighbor's casual remark prompted him to realize the historical importance of what he had experienced.

Learn more about Albert M. Hassenzahl

“I thought that I was the only GI to land on the coast of Normandy.” (Audio interview, 15:16)

Additional Veterans Featured in Chapter One

Image of Raymond Albert Brittain

"No animosity toward us at all, not even a dirty look. They just got out of your way."

Raymond Brittain's story

Image of Raffi Armen Bahadarian

"There was not a minute when I was afraid ... and I know that everything is in God's hands."

Raffi Bahadarian's story

Image of Hillie John Franz

"The screaming of the shells was so loud it all most would run any one crazy."

Hillie John Franz's story

Image of Robert H. Powell

"We ran out of bandages ... and had to use the Stars & Stripes newspaper ..."

Robert H. Powell's story

Image of Kenneth Ray Rodgers

"Any man who went over there and says he wasn't scared is a damn liar, and I'll tell him that to his face."

Kenneth Ray Rodgers' story

Image of John R. Sudyk

"We were the most forward element in that sector of Normandy."

John R. Sudyk's story