ROANOKE, Va. -

This June marks the 70th anniversary of Operation Overlord.

Southwest and Central Virginia will forever be connected to D-Day because of the so-called Bedford Boys of the 29th Infantry Division.

Bedford lost the most men per-capita of any town in America that day.

On this 70th anniversary, one of the men who helped save some fellow soldiers will get an international award.

Don Englar remembers June 6, 1944 vividly.  He says up until a few years ago, he never wanted to talk about it.

"It was noise. The noise was unbelievable, you had big guns firing behind you, you had Germans firing at you," Englar said.

Ten years ago, he was ready to talk about it.  "I had never even told my wife anything," he said.  D-Day was the day before Don Egnlar's 18th birthday.

He says he "grew up in a hurry," that day.

Almost 70 years later, he speaks of his act of heroism with incredible humility.

"I guess that's what it was, I took them back and saved their lives and, uh, I didn't think much of it at the time except, I had to get them back," he said.

He had to get them back.  He wasn't driven by much else.  Under heavy fire, dodging land mines with every step, Englar carried the wounded from the beach to the boat; five separate times.

"The beach was a mess. It was a lot of wrecked boats and the beach was covered with, you couldn't walk acrorss the beach because of bodies, and pieces of bodies," he said.

It was a story he didn't want to tell until around 10 years ago. He does now, thanks in part to these men and these meetings.

The 29th infantry, the same one the Bedford Boys belong to is still going strong. Don Englar is a regular participant in their monthly meetings.

Every first Wednesday of every month except December the 29th infantry, their families and other members meet, talk, remember at the Roanoker Restaurant.

Now it's up to us to make sure we say thanks to them.

"The younger generation, what we did was for them and for this country," Don Englar said.

You can never say thanks enough.