At 96-years-old, Arthur Wolde has quite the life story.
These days he lives in a home in Harvest Alabama, but more than a half century ago, he was on the front lines in the midst of World War II.
Wolde said, "There is so much combat and everything. It was pretty bad."
Wolde has perhaps a different perspective of the war than most. He was an ambulance driver with the US Armored divisions. As he brought wounded American soldiers to safety, Wolde witnessed some of the biggest battles and was met with near death experiences more than a dozen times.
"Three M109's came straight from the field. Lucky for me there was a foxhole there. I jumped in that foxhole and just as I jumped in there, I felt some clumps of dirt hit my helmet. That's how close it was", said Wolde.
Wolde also witnessed the horrors of the war.
"We walked into the Nordhausen concentration camp. What a mess. There were three rows of skeletons about a quarter-mile long laying on the ground and the ovens were over to the left", described Wolde.
As Wolde made his way across Europe he met all kinds of people. While in France, he was interviewed by Ernest Hemingway and the story ended up in newspapers all over the world. Then there was the time he met General Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Wolde said, "A jeep came along with four stars on it and we snapped to attention and saluted. We recognized him right away. You know what he did? He didn't salute. He said ‘Hi fellas', just like he was one of us. I'll never forget that."
Wolde's time at war is now a distant memory, but at 96-years-old, he is a proud American veteran happy to celebrate yet another Veterans Day.
Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.
1720 Valley View Drive