Five World War II Veterans Tell Their Stories

• July 3, 2015 5:00 am


The Washington Free Beacon recently sat down with several World War II veterans to ask them about Memorial Day.

After explaining the importance of the holiday, the veterans were kind enough to share their stories. Each veteran told the Free Beacon about their own unique experience in the military.

Col. Frank "Foxy" Gregg, U.S. Army (Ret.), spent his time in the 101st Airborne Division. He dropped into Normandy, France on D-Day as a part of Operation Market Garden, and defended the town of Bastogne, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge.

Maj. Gen. George A. Rebh, U.S. Army (Ret.), was involved in intelligence operations against the German army, including the famed Ghost Army, from D-Day through the end of the war in Europe. He then was involved in the Manhattan Project and later helped plan nuclear defenses in both eastern Europe and South Korea.

Lt. Gen. Julius W. Becton, Jr., U.S. Army (Ret.), served in the Pacific theater at the end of World War II. He earned a number of medals in Korea and Vietnam, including the Purple Heart and the Silver Star. He also had a long post-military career in which he was the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), president of Prairie View A&M University, and chancellor of the District of Columbia's public schools. His autobiography is available for purchase on Amazon.

Col. Edward "Ned" Burr, U.S. Army (Ret.), was a forward observer during the invasion of Normandy when he was wounded by artillery fire. He eventually recovered and served in the Battle of the Bulge. After World War II ended, he was stationed in Japan. From there he was sent to Korea and fought at the Battle of the Punchbowl.

Col. William "Bill" DeGraf, U.S. Army (Ret.), received a battlefield commission during the war in Europe. During the Korean War he served at the Pusan Perimeter, before going all the way up the Yalu River and back down to the 38th parallel. He later served in the Vietnam War.

All five of the veterans who the Free Beacon interviewed currently reside at The Fairfax, a retirement community located near Fort Belvoir in northern Virginia. The Fairfax retirement center is a community where veterans and their spouses share the bond of having served their country.

Since opening its doors in August 1989, the community has grown to house over 500 residents. A sense of pride and tradition is apparent in the members of this remarkable place.

The videos were shot by Justin Germany and edited by Chris Safran.

Published under: Military, Veterans, Video