Sixty years later, they're still considered the greatest generation.
"One of the things that military service does is establishes comradeship," said Don Simons of the American Legion, "because you have to rely on the individual to cover your back and to cover your sides and to cover your front."
Five men who did just that in World War II were honored at American Legion Post 159 Saturday. For sixty years, they've been members at this hall.
"My dad talked me into joining the Legion soon after I got out of the Navy in World War II," said Travis Bryan, one of the men honored. "He said it was the greatest organization in the world because all you had to do to belong was to have worn the uniform of your country."
"For many years, we were kind of quiet about what took place," said another sixty year member, Charles Stasny. "And then, in the last 10 years or so, there's been an awakening of interest in those people."
And the interest remains as Americans fight halfway around the world in another war. Saturday marked the two-year anniversary of the first strike in the war in Iraq. As the Legion's first members become the oldest members, it's their hope today's generation become the Legion's next generation.
"We would like the young veterans as they return to become a member of our organization," said Simons, "and then we can prepare them to go on and know their Congressmen, to vote, and to carry on for the future generations."
It's a torch the greatest hope they can pass along.