Doyle Hodges Of Biloxi Remembers The Horrors Of War

The man we profile on this week's Veteran's History Project knows all about war. Doyle Hodges of Biloxi served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Now at the age of 83, he is writing a book about those experiences.

In that yet to be published book, Hodges says he now realizes he was born to see the worst of hell.

''You see young kids out there, laying on their backs and some face down, screaming and yelling in agony," he told Jeff Lawson of WLOX News.

Hodges, a southerner from Arkansas, became very good friends during the war with a man named Charlie Cropper, from New York. Hodges remembers the two teenagers landing on the beaches of Gilbert Island in the South Pacific. Fire from Japanese soldiers was coming from everywhere.

"We made the run onto the beach, and I looked behind me and there was Charlie, face down on the beach," Hodges said. "He was not moving. I turned him over, and they got him right between the eyes. Of course, I was screaming and crying."

Charlie Cropper died on the beach that day. To Doyle, he represents the hundreds of thousands who died in war. Little known, except by family and friends, and so young. They perished in a far away place, so we could live in the land of the free and home of the brave.

Doyle says it's the little guys who fight and win the wars, the silent heroes, guys like Charlie Cropper that we should never forget.

"It is the little guys who need the recognition. I take pride in them, the guys and kids that fell and nobody will ever hear about, but they defended that wonderful thing we all freedom. And I will never forget them."