It's been 75 years since Sgt. Fred Reidenbach of North Carolina landed on enemy territory.
"The only thing we could do is dig in and hope for the best," said Reidenbach, who was in the Marines.
Reidenbach, 97, fought in the battle of Iwo Jima. He spent about 20 days on the island.
"We lost a lot of good men. Never leaves my mind. Their memories are pretty well etched in your mind," Reidenbach said
It's a day that changed his life forever and 75 years later he was with a group of young Marines on a day they will also never forget.
"People read through history and they're like these events happen, but they don't think about the people who actually had to go through and do those things to make history," said Pfc. Jessica Larsen.
Larsen, just 19 years old, is one of the 105 Marines who will stop at the USO in Raleigh-Durham International Airport. They've completed Marine combat training and are headed to Camp Johnson for Military Occupation Specialty School.
But first they received words of encouragement from a fellow Marine. Decades separate them but once a Marine always a Marine.
Iwo Jima veteran from North Carolina meets with new Marines on 75th anniversary of battle