SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Andrew Brannen, Jr. is 103 years old and until recently, would have been able to tell you about his military service.
"Until last month, he was still working in his garden. He's always been very active,” Paula Bashlor said.
A fall has taken Brannen's ability to speak at length, but not his memories of combat in World War II that his daughter had to coax out of him a few years ago.
"He didn't really want to talk about it that much. He's talked about it more lately. He said many times he thought he was going to die because they would have to walk across a field and he could hear the bullets passing by his ear,” she said.
One of those times was in Northern France, close to, but the family does not believe on D-Day.
"He said one of them hit him. He had a holster gun and one of them hit his holster gun, it didn't get him. And it knocked his backpack off one time. So, he had a lot of close calls. He said you just don't think about it, you just keep going,” Bashlor said.
Brannen served three years - including 15 months oversees - before returning to Savannah to raise a family. He still has his discharge papers showing several honors and medals he received before coming home 74 years ago this month.
And he still holds the sense of responsibility that defined his generation.
"Well, I did what had to be done,” Brannen said.
And on Veterans Day this week, he shared respect with everyone else who did what had to be done
"He did his duty and never complained and went on with his life. He’s always been concerned for the country and loves his country.”