SOUTH BELOIT (WIFR) -- We have many local veterans who served during World War II, some of whom stormed Omaha Beach on D-Day. 23 News spoke with some of those heroes in South Beloit today. as they got ready for a remembrance ceremony in Madison, WI.
"The Germans were waiting for us, it was kind of a suicide mission."
Henry Gonzales who is 93-years-old, remembers this day 70 years ago, as he and the rest of the 23rd infantry division arrived at Omaha Beach. Gonzales was one of just 30 soldiers out of the 350 in his company that survived D-Day.
"So look at the odds that I'm still alive," explains Gonzales.
Gonzales also made it through a gunshot wound to the stomach during Battle of the Bulge, before being honorably discharged and marrying is wife in South Beloit in 1945.
Robert Gosda, 90-years-old of Janesville, went into the artillery with the 106th division but was pulled to infantry, taking to Omaha Beach two weeks after D-Day.
"All I can remember is (thinking) 'I hope I get out of this water and find some land,'because we were waist deep in water," says Gosda.
Gosda's three brothers also served in World War II and all of them made it out alive.
"I'm grateful to see what's going on up here," says Gosda.
Gosda and more than a dozen other World War II veterans shared their stories as they left South Beloit in a coach bus and headed to Madison, Wisconsin where they were honored during a D-Day ceremony.
This was the first local trip to Madison in honor of D-Day. Some of the veterans, including Gosda, just got back from Washington, D.C. for the Vets Roll trip.