Sgt. Lawrence Gilbert of North Port, Fla. was a member of the 1st Ranger Battalion attached to the 1st Division, part of Gen. George Patton’s 7th Army that landed in Sicily on July 10, 1943 during the middle of World War II.
Tom Edwards of Deep Creek, Fla. was a Navy man through and through. He joined the Navy when he was 17 on Nov. 25, 1940 — his birthday — and made it his life for 22 years .
Dick Henry of Foxwood subdivision in Englewood piloted a “Higgins Boat,” a plywood landing craft, in six major invasions during World War II. However, the closest he came to being killed during the war was in a typhoon one night off Okinawa.
Earl Swillum went aboard an LST as a “90-Day Wonder” third officer and sailed into the war zone at the Battle for Saipan. Before the fighting in the Pacific was over he and the LSTH-121, which also served as a hospital ship, took part in three other major battles during World War II.
A year after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, dragging the United States into World War II, George Sheldon, who grew up in Haverhill, Mass., joined the Army and eventually ended up in an amphibious brigade.
John Seelie of Englewood, Fla. was supposed to box the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. He was a champion welterweight who just joined the 25th Infantry Division stationed at Schofield Barracks outside of Honolulu, Hawaii.