Twenty-something New Mexico native Manuel Ray Perez had already been honorably discharged by the U.S. Army, but after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that started World War II, he knew he had to get back in the fight.
That determination, and a toss of the coin, put him on Omaha Beach, Normandy, Nazi-occupied France, on D-Day, 78 years ago today.
OFFICIAL DEFENSE DEPARTMENT BIOGRAPHY:
He was a yeoman on “Easy Red” sector of Omaha Beach with the 6th Beach Battalion — bullets screaming past him and hitting buddies and strangers all around during the Invasion of Normandy. And he was there because all he won a coin toss.