TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - It was 68 years ago, June 6, 1944, when Allied forces launched the D-Day invasion in Normandy, France.
Lupe Flores is a WWII veteran who moved to Toledo after the war, serving in the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division.
While Flores survived both D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge, he does not consider himself to be a hero. He says the true heroes are the soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. Flores says he recalls making numerous practice jumps to get ready for the invasion, and remembers speaking with General Eisenhower during inspection before climbing into a plane and jumping behind enemy lines in France.
"He told me 'you don't have to tell me where you're from, Texas'. I thought he was a really good general. I'm glad he was in charge," said Flores.
Flores still has the D-Day orders as a keepsake. "I never was really scared going into combat because to me it was a job that had to be done," said Flores.
Flores says he is going to keep an important tradition going, by raising a glass and having a drink at midnight, to remember those who didn't make it home alive.