UPDATE: Alan Brylawski died in Florida – This interview with Alan Brylawski recalls the tough days of the war in Europe and horrors of Buchenwald

Alan Brylawski, 85, says funny things happen at war, though some horrors still haunt him.
“I am an optimist and humorist. I don’t take life too seriously,” the World War II veteran said.
War has been part of human culture since man got out of the cave, Brylawski says. “It’s senseless, there are no winners. We slaughter people. Everybody loses.” He said the kind of horror one man perpetrates on another during war is inconceivable, adding once the enemy is demonized everything becomes okay.
“It is either you do it or they are going to do it to you. So self-preservation says you do it first,” he said. “When you see bullets pass you, there’s no question you are under fire. At that point the enemy becomes a demon, devoid of humanity.”

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D-Day Veteran Gives First Person Account of Landings on Omaha Beach

Rastus “Smokey” Holcomb served on the USS Arkansas and participated in 13 convoys across the North Atlantic, several invasions in the European theater but the biggest military action of all time was the invasion of Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
The retired Navy veteran who joined the service in 1934 at the height of the depression also got married that year. But it was his service on the Arkansas on D-Day that will never leave his memory.

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