Hero from the Heart of Virginia: Buddy Rorer
ALTAVISTA, Va. (WSET) -- He left his home in Pittslyvania County at only 18-years-old to fight on the front lines in World War II.
And while a whole lot of time has passed, 91-year-old Buddy Rorer says he remembers getting the news he'd been drafted like it was yesterday. "Selected by Franklin D. Roosevelt, that's what it said on the envelope when I received it in the mail, you have been selected," said Rorer.
He served in the Army's Infantry as a rifleman on the front lines, and spent his two years and four months in the service battling the Japanese on the Pacific Islands.
"When we hit the beach in the Philippines, I was in the first wave and there wasn't nothing in front of me but the enemy and we went to shore and the first man that I saw dead there was our Jeep driver," said Rorer.
But he says he somehow left without any injuries, "I got scared one time, when I was inducted in the military up there in Roanoke and stayed scared until I got out down in Fort Bragg, North Carolina," he said.
He's spent a lifetime in Altavista surrounded by family and friends and says he's proud to have served the country and made it home safely, "I feel blessed by the Lord, he had something else for me to do," he said.
Rorer never had any children, but said he happily spent 34 years and 10 days with his wife.
He also has four siblings and 10 nieces and nephews; one of his nephews, who retired from the Air Force is who nominated him as his true hero from the Heart of Virginia.