BOAZ, AL (WAFF) - Generations of men and women have served our country in the military.
On Thursday, students at Boaz High School learned about their sacrifices and now have a new appreciation for Veterans Day.
The guest speaker was 94-year-old James Carson of Arab, a veteran of World War II.
He spoke to the students about his time as a high-speed radio operator for the Army during the war and his involvement with the Battle of the Bulge.
"It was quite an experience that, I was just a kid right off the farm when I went into the military. And was assigned to the communications section," said Carson.
The teenager from that Blount County farm quickly learned the Army's radio operations and became a crucial part of the Battle of the Bulge. It was a stressful time, but he says they made the best of it.
"In the Battle of the Bulge we were traveling on roads, there were 20 inches of snow and at night the temperature dropped to about 13 degrees," said Carson.
The men slept in the bed of the truck in sleeping bags since there was no housing for them.
"We slept, the three-man team on that truck.We pulled 8-hour shifts and then we were off while the other guys pulled their 8-hour shifts.
It was stressful, but we made it," added Carson.
Kelsey Dumas, a senior at Boaz High, says she has several veterans in her family and often hears their stories, but Mr. Carson's speech had an unexpected impact on her.
"It's so crazy to be able to realize, that people have been fighting for our country for a very long time. And sometimes we take that for granted and we don't realize it. So, it was really eye-opening and awakening and showed me how grateful we need to be for our country," said Dumas.
Mr. Carson will turn 95 in just a few weeks and says he still corresponds with one of the men he served with more than 70 years ago.
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