TULSA, Okla. — On this Veterans Day, we honor those who served our country.
One of those heroes is Bill Parker, a member of the Choctaw Nation who served during World War 2.
“I’ve been asked a number of times, ‘well, was you scared?’ No, I wasn’t scared,” Parker said. “Maybe I didn’t have sense enough to be, but I think it was because we didn’t have time to be. We was busy all the time.”
Tech Sergeant William Normal (Bill) Parker was drafted, called to serve in the United States Army.
“I had it made. I was satisfied,” Parker said. “And then here come that letter stating that I had to go to the Army. I was still in high school.”
Bill packed up, leaving behind everything he knew and everyone he loved.
“You know when you’re 18-years-old and you’re in love and you have been for 3 years and when it’s time to get married,” Parker said. “I remember thinking that I was throwing two years of my married life away.”
Bill went to France, becoming one of the first to land on Omaha Beach for the D-Day invasion.
“We all crossed that beach with a machine gun hitting the ground about three feet in front of us. Just kicking up the dirt. He never did raise it high enough to hit us,” Parker said.
Bill said he was trapped until a battleship came to the rescue.
“And he shot about six foot over our heads, knocking them pillboxes out,” Parker said. “I can hear them big shells coming over now. They just like one freight train after another.”
He spent almost two years overseas, but when he finally got home, he fought a very different battle.
“And it was 70 some odd years we tried to forget,” Parker said. “Of course you can’t forget it. My wife could tell you that. She had to put up with nightmares, crying in the middle of the night. There wasn’t nothing simple about it, but we made it pretty good till dark, but the night was miserable.”
After those years, Bill started talking about what happened. He said it did not help at first, but eventually, it did.
“I knew it had to be done. And I guess when I made it home, I was glad that I had helped do it,” Parker said. “The rest of the world needs to know what we done. And I’m glad to get to tell my part of it.”
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