LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — Herb Ridyard enlisted in the Army when he was just 17-years-old.
The Bethlehem native began his studies at the University of Florida for college, but within three months, was told where and when he would have to serve.
He has been a United States Army veteran for about 78 years. Ridyard is thankful he is still here but most importantly, he is thankful to tell the stories of the many who cannot.
"I'd like to tell their story...and I try to remember them that way," he said.
Ridyard did in fact live to tell their story as he spent the fall and cold winter season of 1944 to 1945 in the 94th Infantry Division of the Third Army. He served under General George Patton as well.
Ridyard is now 96, and holds a master's degree in aeronautical engineering and is a husband of 71 years to his wife.
Along with Ridyard, Tom Campbell, a 1969 to 1971 Vietnam War veteran, shared that he knew at a very young age that he wanted to serve.
"To go into a foreign country at that time...we were just kids right out of high school and were chosen to combat so, not knowing any different, it was quite a task," he said.
Campbell wants people to remember those who have died in recent years, including on Sept. 11, 2001.
"They sacrificed their lives for our freedom," he said.