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Jun 6, 2011 8:27 PM by Matt Stafford

Local veteran remembers invading on D-Day

June 6th, 1944 Allied forces stormed the beach of Normandy, France, fighting soldiers from Nazi Germany.

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things," that's the first line of a plaque in the home of retired Army Major Duke Boswell. It rings especially true in his home because he's seen war in some of its ugliest moments; but even then, he says they knew what they were fighting for 67 years ago on D-Day.

"The sea was just covered with ships as far as you could see," Boswell recalls. "And the sky was full of planes as far as you could see."

"I thought to myself how can we lose with this many troops, and this kind of force."

Boswell -- who forged his parents signatures when he was 16 to join the Army -- had made two combat jumps as a paratrooper before in WWII, but he was about to jump into the largest military invasion of all time.

"We realized it would be the biggest battle we'd ever been in, and we realized the consequences -- that this was hoping to be the beginning of the downfall of Hitler's empire," says Boswell. "We did win, but it was a costly battle of course."

"I hate to think what it might have been if we had lost and Hitler and the Japanese had won."

Looking back at awards received through the years, Boswell says he's often wondered why he made it home, but others didn't. He say he realizes now that it's just the why it happened; they were all doing their job. For Boswell and other soldiers, he says the reason for their job was crystal clear.

"If you ask any American soldier why he was over there I think his answer would have been, I'd rather fight here than back in America," says Boswell.

The memory he hopes people take away, 67 years later, is that this is something we never want to happen again.

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