Honor Flight

Wauwatosa WWII vet's memories vivid 'as if they happened this morning'

CREATED Nov. 6, 2012

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  • Photo: Jodi Becker

  • Photo: Jodi Becker

  • Photo: Jodi Becker

  • Photo: Jodi Becker

  • Photo: Jodi Becker

  • Photo: Jodi Becker

WASHINGTON, D.C. - As World War II vets saw their memorial, the memories of their days saving the world flooded forward. 

"I have so many memories, good and bad, and otherwise, as if they happened this morning," said Army mortorman Kenny Vincent of Wauwatosa.

He saw action in Normandy and at the Battle of the Bulge, and his stories grow more amazing as you pull back the layers.

Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Jodi Becker met him as he was being wheeled around the World War II memorial.

He called it "wonderful."

Kenny had spotted a carving at the memorial that featured a mortorman just like he used to be.

He started to look off over Jodi's shoulder at his memorial, remembering what had brought him here.

"I used to drop rounds down the tube and duck my head so I wouldn't get my head blown off by the shell," explained Kenny.

"I spent, from Normandy, all the way through Central Germany, including the Battle of the Bulge, I was scared 90 percent of the time."

With due cause.

Kenny says, including him, just seven platoon members made it home OK.

"I had that tight knot in my stomach, but you learn to live with it, because you were trained.  You did your job."

He says he sees himself as a survivor, not a hero. 

After you know his story, you will disagree.

He is the definition of a hero. 

Just one chapter of his story comes in the freezing cold, 61 days into the Battle of the Bulge.

"That afternoon, our tanks ran into a mine field.  Half of them were blown up, were useless."

Kenny says his group was taken to a relief camp for a few days, then right back to the action.

He's another local hero having his moment of recognition.