LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - World War II Veteran Benny Vittitow remembers the war like it was yesterday. The 88-year-old veteran is this week's KCBD "Hometown Hero" for his years of service fighting for our country.
"It was difficult to know that your only duty was to kill or be killed," said Benny looking back on his days as an infantryman in France.
Growing up in Plano, TX he was drafted right after high school in 1930, but after the war he made Lubbock his home for more than 65 years.
"When he talks about his service you can see that it touched his heart. It brings tears to his eyes when he talks about serving his country," said Paul Lively, Focal Pointe Fellowship pastor.
As Benny sat there with his hat adorned with bronze stars, a purple heart, and several other medals he reminisced about WWII.
"We would lose two to three men a day," he said. "We had one new guy who stepped on a bouncing Betty bomb. He decided to he would take the bomb in his body and save us. He fell down on top of the bomb…He gave his life for us. I could sit here and list them all day – all the soldiers who did the same thing."
While in battle Benny was injured twice. The first he was shot by a German sniper in the thigh. The second was the Battle of the Bulge. "It was terrible. My feet and legs were frozen to about up to my knee. I didn't find it out until later because it didn't affect you right then," he said.
The war ended. Benny's service was over. Yet his heart wanted to keep serving. "We had 88 over 18 years," said Benny. That's how many children he and his wife fostered after he returned home.
"That's just another demonstration of Benny's love for other people and his willingness to sacrifice to help people," said Lively after nominating Benny as a Hometown Hero. "All that I've heard Benny talk about going through so that I can have the freedom to pastor my church, to sit and visit with you, it's men like Benny that have paid for that freedom. Benny really is my hero," he said.
To nominate your Hometown Hero (click here).