13 WWII Veterans Give Life Advice to Young Americans

by Madison Miller

About 80 years after fighting for people’s freedoms, 13 different WWII veterans are reflecting on their service and giving advice to the up-and-coming young generation.

Many of these individuals were minority groups that fought against Nazi racism despite laws in their own countries. These are heroes that overcome adversity and helped save countless people and restore peace.

Now, it may be one of the last chances we have to hear from some of these individuals.

WWII Veterans Talk to Young Generation

One of which is Charles Shay, an Army Medic. He is a Penobscot Native American that was drafted to serve when he was only 19. He was living in Indian island, Maine at the time.

According to the New York Post, he was amongst the first wave of people to arrive at Omaha Beach on the notorious D-Day. He was a trained medic and helped the injured soldiers on the beach. Despite bullets flying past him, he remained untouched and would actually earn the Silver Star and Bronze Star from his efforts.

As for the future day, he helped the state of Maine establish a Native American Veterans Day. “It was our country originally, and even though Native Americans didn’t have as many rights as other citizens, we were still fighting for our country. For younger people considering military service, it’s not a bad life. I wish you good luck,” Shay said to the news outlet as advice to younger individuals.

Advice on Unity and Freedom

Another brave soldier is Alexander Jefferson. He was an Army Fighter Pilot that was a part of the famous African American pilot group known as the Tuskegee Airmen. “No place is going to be perfect, so love your country and preserve democratic life here. Keep your nose to the grinding mill, get an education, and vote!”

Another soldier is Hershel “Woody” Williams, a 98-year-old that is the oldest living medal of honor recipient. He was a combat marine that fought in several battles such as the Battle of Guam and then the Battle of Iwo Jima.

“So many of our citizens have sacrificed their lives for the precious gift of freedom. If we do not preserve that freedom it will go away,” he advises the younger generation.

Perhaps some of the best advice came from Julia Parson, the 100-year-old who served as a codebreaker. “I just wanted to do something, everyone wanted to do something, and everyone did. It’s amazing what a country can do when people are united,” she said.

Julia Parson had been a trailblazer at a time in which women weren’t often offered these kinds of opportunities. She played an integral role in acquiring German messages. Her work was incredibly classified, which is why she actually didn’t mention it to her husband until the 1990s.