HOUSTON – As the years pass, there are fewer World War II veterans around to share their stories.
So when KHOU 11 News Anchor Len Cannon got a call about a veteran in Houston, he jumped at the chance to talk to him. And at age 92, he still has powerful memories.
“This never leaves, if you go into battle there is no way you can forget it,” Melton Wright said.
It’s been 70 years, but Wright vividly remembers his first day of combat.
“We walked into so to speak into a hornets’ nest, because we had to walk across an open field under heavy artillery and machine gun fire,” he said.
It was 1944 in France, and he spent his first night in a fox hole.
“What was that like?” Cannon asked.
“That was the most miserable night of my life,” Wright said.
Wright survived the night, became an expert rifleman, received the Silver Star and the Bronze Star for valor and he was never wounded.
“No, I was very fortunate, I grew up with a shotgun in one hand and a fishing rod in the other, and I knew that a moving target was harder to hit, so I never stayed in one spot too long,” Wright said.
Wright was born in 1922 in Austin, he left the University of Texas after one year and enlisted in the U.S. Army. He has lost more friends than he can count to war and old age. The so called Greatest Generation is slowly slipping away.
“He’s dead, he’s dead, he’s dead, he’s dead, I’m the only one left,” Wright said.
After the war he married Thelma, 68 years later they are still together, and though he moves a lot slower, Wright’s mind is a sharp as ever. We are grateful for that – grateful for his service, and for sharing his stories, from a significant moment in history.