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‘Seen a lot of stuff’: Omaha World War II veteran celebrates 100th birthday

By Sean MacKinnon

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    OMAHA, Nebraska (KETV) — At 100, World War II veteran Tony Martinez has a long lifetime of memories.

“We were MP’s over in Brussels, Belgium. There was nothing to do but we took over this whole damn town,” Martinez said.

At 19 years old, the South Omaha native was drafted to fight in World War II. He had his physical at Offutt. One month after D-day, he stepped onto French shores.

The kid from Omaha landed at a place that sounded like home.

“Omaha beach. We landed on Omaha beach,” Martinez said.

He fought in Germany, Belgium, Holland and France.

“Lost a lot of sleep, lot of food, hungry, wet, it wasn’t bad though after you sit around say ‘Eh nothin’ to it,'” he said.

Martinez told stories of a lieutenant telling him to find a spot in a German town to set up an anti-aircraft gun. But a battle had already been fought there. American and German bodies covered the ground.

“Seen a lot of stuff. That I don’t want to mention, yeah,” he said.

The horrors of the western front and Nazi Germany are painful even to this day.

“When I was over there, they treated Jewish people so bad,” Martinez said. “I don’t know why I’m crying. I can’t help it.”

Martinez is proud of what he fought for. His father came here from Mexico City.

“But you know what, there’s nothing like the USA, I’m telling you,” he said.

And for every year he’s spent on earth, he’s earned his cake.

“I’ll take 100 pieces,” Martinez said.

And he’s still giving a piece of his mind.

“Keep laughing and shut up,” he said.

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