[caption id="attachment_15393" align="alignleft" width="300"]<a href="https:\/\/mountainmedianews.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/13\/2015\/11\/Three-Veterans-Talk-about-the-Old-Days.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-15393" alt="Emery Boone, Florey Bucklen and James Pyne (Photo by Mark Robinson)" src="https:\/\/mountainmedianews.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/13\/2015\/11\/Three-Veterans-Talk-about-the-Old-Days-300x225.jpg" width="300" height="225" \/><\/a> Emery Boone, Florey Bucklen and James Pyne (Photo by Mark Robinson)[\/caption]\r\n\r\n<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">By Mark Robinson<\/span>\r\n\r\nSeveral veterans in the area get together at the Senior Center near the Kroger store on a regular basis.\r\n\r\nJames Pyne likes to go every day. He says the people there are good to him, and he likes to spend time with his friends.\r\n\r\nPyne is 91 years old. Born near Zenith, in Monroe County, he had 13 brothers and sisters in the family.\r\n\r\n\u201cI didn\u2019t grow up there. I was jerked up there. I was the youngest one of all the kids,\u201d he said. Of all the children, only one is still living, his older sister, Virginia Bradley, who lives in Lindside, in Monroe County.\r\n\r\nPyne wanted to be in the army so badly, he tried to sign up before he turned 18. They told him to go to the courthouse, and when they realized he was too young, they sent him home. When he turned 18, he signed up immediately.\r\n\r\nIn 1944, he found himself on a ship off the coast of England, waiting for D-Day. \u201cI was in the First Infantry.\u201d\r\n\r\nPyne said that General Eisenhower had a meeting with the whole division, out in a field. \u201cHe said \u2018If you last five minutes, you\u2019re going to be lucky.\u2019\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cWe got on the boat probably a week before, we\u2019d go out in the channel at night to fool the Germans, so they wouldn\u2019t know when we\u2019d be coming. After a few days of that, we went over. I got seasick going over the channel. I had to swim in. They sank our boat, we had to swim in about a quarter of a mile, with our packs, rifle, ammunition. Lots of people drowned, or got killed. We were at Omaha Beach.\r\n\r\n\u201cOn the beach, there were so many dead fellows, you tried to dig down in the sand so you wouldn\u2019t get shot. Big battleships back behind us, firing at the land batteries.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cWe were pinned down, killing us by the dozen, so my company commander said \u2018We ain\u2019t gonna put up with this. Put your bayonets on.\u2019\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cWhen the Germans saw us coming, they took off. We took that hill. They didn\u2019t want anything to do with bayonets. We drove 30 miles forward that night. Fighting day and night, didn\u2019t get no rest. We went on to Germany. I got shot in Aachen, Germany, street fighting against Germany\u2019s best troops.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cI got shot in the right leg, below my knee. When I got shot, I was running and the machine gunner got me, and my foot turned around backwards. A tank got the machine gunner. They carried me out, two men on a stretcher, and when the mortars came in, they\u2019d put me down and jump in a hole. They said \u2018You already got shot, we don\u2019t want to get shot.\u2019\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cGot shot October 13 or something. Shoot, I\u2019m 90 years old I done forgot the day.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cThat was the end of it for me. The field doctor said take him to Paris, so they took me to Paris and put me in the hospital. Was there a week or two, then to England, ended up at White Sulphur for about six months. That was an army hospital.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cThey were talking about shifting troops to the Pacific to fight Japan, but they dropped the bomb, and that ended that.\u201d\r\n\r\nPyne married Violet Martin, and they had nine children.\r\n\r\n\u201cI done everything for work. Wasn\u2019t no jobs at that time. Cut timber, farmed, got a job at a factory in Narrows, VA. A guy from Lewisburg came over and told me I got a job for you and you can make good money. I went to work for Bill Lewis, worked there seven years. I sold cars for a while, and I worked on cars. Body man.\u201d\r\n\r\nViolet passed away many years ago, and James lives with one of his sons in Fairlea. He goes to the Presbyterian Church by the Fairgrounds gate. \u201cI\u2019ve gone there off and on for 50 years. I took the family there years ago.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u2022 \u2022 \u2022\r\n\r\nFlorey Bucklen is 82 years old. He was in the army during the Korean War, but he spent his two years in Austria.\r\n\r\n\u201cOut of 200 men in my company, every one of them went to Fort Ord, CA, and that meant they were going to Korea. But, they sent me to Europe. I was the only one out of the whole company who didn\u2019t go to Korea. Somebody pulled some strings somewhere. I had an aunt who was very interested in me and my brother. She was a letter writer. I think she might have written to a Congressman,\u201d he said.\r\n\r\nBucklen was born in 1933, in Buchanon County, VA. He has lived in Greenbrier County for 40 years, and said he wouldn\u2019t live anywhere else. \u201cI was a building maintenance mechanic. Plumbing, heating, electric.\u201d\r\n\r\nHis wife is deceased. He has three sons, two of whom served in the army.\r\n\r\n\u201cOne of them jumped out of perfectly good airplanes. He was a paratrooper,\u201d said Bucklen.\r\n\r\n\u201cLots of things have changed over the years. You know, we used to watch Buck Rogers, and Dick Tracy. They\u2019d have these fancy gadgets, like wrist radio watches. But now, we would have been amazed to see something like that in real life. Now we\u2019ve got all kinds of things that do that stuff.\u201d\r\n\r\nWhen he was young, Bucklen said they buried potatoes and cabbage in a hole in ground to keep them from going bad. \u201cWe\u2019d dry beans, then string them and call them leather britches. They\u2019d keep like that. Then when you wanted to eat them, just throw them in a pan of water and cook them up. We did lots of pickling, canning, made sauerkraut. Those big crocks were essential to old time farmers. Now, Good Lands, people like them for door stops.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u2022 \u2022 \u2022\r\n\r\nEmery Boone is 88 years old. He fought in Europe with the First Infantry Division of Engineers. \u201cI wasn\u2019t in the battles. I was behind the lines, building bridges. The Germans were blowing them up as they retreated, so we were building them back. Sometimes, we had to lay our tools down and pick up our guns and shoot the snipers. A couple of guys in my unit got shot in the shoulder and in the leg, but I didn\u2019t get shot at all.\u201d\r\n\r\nBoone grew up in Nicholas County, and worked as a dairy farmer in Craigsville. \u201cThat\u2019s hard work. Four in the morning until dark at night, seven days a week.\u201d\r\n\r\nHe has 19 great-grandchildren. Twenty-one years ago he retired to Lewisburg.