1995. The internet was nothing but a fledgling neophyte of a news source. Newspapers, radio and television were still king. Which meant that local cable access shows (can you say Wayne’s World?) dominated the landscape — in their respective regions.

Which brings us to the following clip, which pairs two work buddies (they impart as much in the introduction) and sits them down — large, bulky camcorder rolling — for a nice little chat. The “host” (doing a laid-back Frank Zappa impression either purposely or incidentally) is a younger man than his subject: Sy “Buddy” Butler, a World War II veteran and one of the courageous United States Army soldiers who stormed the beaches at Normandy during the D-Day invasion that commenced on the morning of June 6, 1944.

We fast forwarded the beginning and bookmarked the clip right at the point where Sy begins telling his tale of the legendary incursion that set the scene for Nazi Germany’s surrender less than a year later.

A traveling musician based in Chicago at the beginning of 1943, Butler’s parents received an important letter addressed to him shortly after he took off to perform on the road. It was from the U.S. War Department: he was to sign up for the draft.

Soon thereafter he was a U.S. Army soldier, bouncing from Camp Custer in Michigan to Camp McCain in Mississippi to Camp Livingston in Louisiana. It was this stop where his life changed forever.

Late returning from a furlough, his transfer to the army band was torn up by his commander (309th Quartermaster Railhead) and, instead, he was sent packing to New York City where he boarded a ship (the “Susan B. Anthony) en route to England, the European theatre, and the Second World War.

The convoy hit land in Wales (he said they made numerous maneuvers to avoid German submarines during the transatlantic journey) and after dodging the Blitzkrieg in England, starting preparations for the largest amphibious invasion in the history of humankind.

Allow the late great Sy to pick it up from there (he passed away in 2012):