November 12, 2009
This week's hero volunteered to join the military to help put food on the table for his family. He joined during the height of the Great Depression. Little did Carl "Chubby" Proffitt Jr. know, his time with the 29th Infantry Division during World War II would make him a hero.
Proffitt received a Silver Star and two Bronze Stars while serving during World War II, and is recognized as one of the most decorated veterans in Charlottesville.
"That's what they say. I tell people that it sounds like I'm bragging when I start mentioning them all, but it's hitting the nail right on top of the head. I've received every one of them," he said.
Of the dozens of medals, it is the distinguished service cross that stands out for Proffitt. He says it is the second highest honor a military man can receive. As a Platoon Sargent, Proffitt says he got the award for getting his men across some 300 yards of beach on D-Day.
"Keeping the troops moving, keeping the spirit up, which was hard to do. It was so loud you couldn't even give a word of signal, it was all by hand," he said.
For Proffitt and many other men, D-Day would be their first combat experience.
"A picture's worth 10,000 words, but it's horrible. I've always said the D-Day invasion, if there's such a thing as hell on Earth, that was hell on Earth," he said. "I wouldn't take a million dollars for my experience, but I wouldn't go through it again for a million dollars."
Today, Proffitt lives to tell the stories of his time fighting in World War II, and a 91-years-old, he is still shocked her survived it all. "It scares me to death to even think about it, still right now," he said.
Proffitt spent this week remembering his fight then, and honoring the heroes fighting now.
As always, if you know a hero making some sort of sacrifice every day to help others, shoot Jennifer an email and you could see your hero featured on the CBS19 News.