Local News

War stories: People drop by Raleigh home to talk with WWII veteran

Posted June 30

— A woman in north Raleigh has taken to social media to invite her neighbors to sit down and talk with her father, who fought in World War II.

"I thought, well, somebody might want to hear some war stories, because Dad likes to tell war stories," Candy Baskett said Friday about her father, Clyde Garner.

Baskett said her mother had a medical emergency last year, so her parents moved from Winston-Salem into her house in Raleigh's Cross Gate subdivision, off Durant Road.

"At home, he had three gentlemen he'd go have coffee with every morning," she said.

To find some good conversation for 93-year-old Garner, she posted a message on Nextdoor, an online social network for neighbors.

"I got a lot of response from people wanting to come over," Baskett said. "We had a young woman and a couple that came on Wednesday."

Garner was a 19-year-old farm boy from Moore County when his tank rolled into France after D-Day. He later fought in the Battle of the Bulge.

"Out there, (you) froze to death in them foxholes night and day," he said. "Just had to keep going, night and day.

"I lost a lot of my buddies," he said. "I never thought about coming home, just trying to survive."

He did survive both experiences, as well as a Nazi attack on his guard post.

"We just ducked and sat there. There was nothing we could do. The fire and shrapnel was flying, and they quit," he said.

Garner's buddy was hit, and he did his best first aid on him, only to hear his last words.

"'Clyde! Pull my shoes off. My feet are burning,'" he recalls the young soldier from West Virginia telling him. "So, I pulled his shoes off, and in a few minutes, he died."

Baskett said people on Nextdoor have suggested that she take her father to a library, or some other large venue, to have him speak. But she said she wants to keep it more personal.

Garner said he is grateful for the company and the chance to tell people more about World War II.

"When we die out, most of this will be gone. Nobody will know much about it," he said.

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