Wayne Woody recognized for his World War II service
by GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
Dec 26, 2013 | 1080 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WAYNE WOODY, 91, is still as sharp as ever. He explained his days in military service prior to receiving recognition from American Legion Post 81. Joe Davis represented the Post during a ceremony Monday. Banner photo, GREG KAYLOR
WAYNE WOODY, 91, is still as sharp as ever. He explained his days in military service prior to receiving recognition from American Legion Post 81. Joe Davis represented the Post during a ceremony Monday. Banner photo, GREG KAYLOR
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Wayne Woody began his military career as a National Guardsman. Years later after being called into active duty, through the war of the “Greatest Generation,” and re-enlisting, he finally retired to private life.

But his story is one of character and color.

Earlier this week, Woody was honored by American Legion Post 81, for his service during World War II — and surviving the invasion of Normandy.

Joe Davis, Bradley County Veteran’s Affairs officer and a member of Post 81, presented Woody with a certificate for service and appreciation.

In August 1940, a young Woody was simply a member of the Guard.

Just a month later he would be militarized, and eventually come face-to-face with the enemy in one of history’s greatest battles on the beaches of Normandy.

He had trained in the 4th Motorized Division and the 4th Infantry of the U.S. Army.

In 1943, the group of soldiers made their way as the 4th Infantry Division.

On June 6, 1944, the soldiers stormed the beach and faced Adolf Hitler’s German forces.

The French beach was the scene of one of the toughest and deadliest battles in history.

“I was shot in the leg, captured by the Germans and while I was captive and in the hospital, was rescued by American forces,” Woody said.

After the U.S. “recaptured” the injured troops, an Army general announced the men would be “‘out of here by nighttime,’” Woody said.

“I called him a liar,” Woody said.

“But he was right. He told me that he knew we didn’t believe his statement, but we were all removed by that evening,” Woody said.

Woody was eventually transported back to the U.S. to continue his recovery.

He wore a leg brace to help with his injury.

In 1945, Woody was discharged but just a few years later, re-enlisted.

“For the next 15 years, after I re-enlisted I worked with the Signal Corps, performing various communications and cryptic duties,” Woody said.

He was an active-duty veteran with a war injury, but that didn’t hamper his abilities.

In April 1963, Woody retired and lived in Tucson, Ariz.

He worked in construction, for the U.S. Postal Service and as a bartender for the American Legion.

In 1968, Woody and family returned to Cleveland where he worked for Cleveland Plastics until the company closed down.

He finally went into retirement.

“I live in Washington, D.C., now … my address is on Capitol Avenue,” Woody explained.

About 450 to 500 veterans reside at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington.

Now Woody lists one of his pastimes as traveling to casinos with his veteran friends.

“I would go a lot more if I had more money,” he said with a chuckle.

“We — and I — appreciate your service to our country. It’s an honor to know you are a survivor of Normandy, and we are glad you are here today,” Davis told Woody.