100-year-old vet in Luzerne County

WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY— We’ll meet a local veteran who participated in one of the toughest battles in history, The Battle of the Bulge.

He survived and recently turned 100. His name is Dan Norman, and he truly is one of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s heroes.

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Veteran Dan Norman may not move as quickly as he used to but the recently turned centenarian has lived more than most and has witnessed a lot of history.

“I just hope I’m this good at 100,” joked Norman.

Dan was in the 84th Infantry division toward the end of World War II and participated in what historians believe was a turning point in the war. The Battle of the Bulge in 1944.

By his own account he was nearly captured by the German army, Dan was positioned near the western front close to the German border when he took on heavy fire. For the 19-year-old, it was a moment of clarity in the face of war.

“They started shelling at us. We’d have to dive into the trench to avoid getting buried alive,” reflected Norman.

The Germans broke through the line, but the Americans ultimately held their ground. The battle ended in a key allied victory.

Dan recalls another story when a gracious neighbor offered him shelter out of the rain. Dan says his commander reminded him it was one for all and all for one.

“I went to the captain and he says only if they let everybody stay and they did. We stayed in the attic that night,” stated Norman.

Dan was wounded, promoted to first sergeant, and at one point was in charge of overseeing prisoners of war. He eventually returned stateside, got married, went to college, and began a career as an accountant with the IRS.

Dan’s caretaker Tina says, these days, he’s still active and enjoys an occasional visit to the casino. In fact, he recently celebrated his 100th birthday at Rustic Kitchen at Mohegan Sun Pocono with family and friends.

If you have an idea for Veterans Voices, email ntoma@pahomepage.com

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