It was almost seven decades ago, but the sacrifices and bravery of the soldiers who fought in one of the bloodiest battles of WWII live on.
Monday one of the veterans of the greatest generation was honored in Electra.
Iwo Jima veteran J.B. Magers was surprised by the recognition he received Monday, and says he just wishes all those who served get the same appreciation.
Sixty-nine years ago a week from Monday, began the bloody battle on the tiny island of Iwo Jima, about ten times smaller in square miles than the city of Wichita Falls.
And with few who were there still alive, it makes remembering what happened even more precious.
“It means that we need to preserve those stories for our youngsters,” said Commander Richard Cranford of VFW post 4145.
Cranford along with some youngsters honored an Electra man for his service at Iwo Jima and other battles.
“It was raining and the wind was blowing about 40 miles an hour and it was cold,” said Magers.
Like so many there, Navy veteran Magers was young, he had just turned 18, but after days of helping bring the wounded and dying off the island, he turned old very quickly.
He's grateful he's able to share the stories with younger generations, unlike the thousands that never came home.
“The 6,820 something of us that are buried over there that gave their all. I am just thankful that I made it and I just thank God that he's still looking out for me,” he said.
“You serve to protect our freedom, and that is the reason he served,” said the commander.
Served despite the many risks Magers would face.
“War is hell anywhere you have it. Because there is destruction, loss of life, but America’s freedom is worth fighting for, and I hope that everybody that serves gets the recognition that I got here,” he said.
Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.