By Jennifer Martin
About 2500 Allied troops lost their lives on D-Day. More than half of those were Americans.
"That was really nerve wracking there. Everything was just paralyzed. So many people killed."
Elton Tucker was a shooter in the 5th Field Artillery, 1st Infantry Division.
"We didn't think too much about being killed. Because we were there to do a job and we were going to try to do it. Of course, that's what makes you a good soldier, see, because you are willing to go take risks regardless."
By the time the allies invaded Normandy, Tucker had already been in the Army nearly a year. He was an 18 year-old newlywed when he was drafted. After training, he served as a replacement soldier in England until his unit joined the invasion force in France.
"You'll never forget it because it was so nerve wracking. You never knew if your minute was the next one, because so many shells and bombs going off."
Tucker lost several of his buddies, but he made it through D-Day without a scratch. From France, his unit moved on through Belgium, Germany, and Czechoslovakia, pushing back the German forces.
"I mean, they were running. They didn't stop in their own country. They had to go somewhere because we were after them."
After the war ended, he returned to Forest, Mississippi, where he was reunited with his wife. Soon after, he realized his calling to become a minister. Tucker says his service definitely helped lead him to that path.
"It let me see what I need to share with people and they need to be a witness to Christ in the military."
He served as a minister 40 years before he retired. Taylor and his wife have eight children, 25 grandchildren, and 15 great grandchildren.
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