Reliving History: A WW2 Veteran Shares His Amazing Experience

By Joshua Bakarich

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AVONDALE- Wilson Colwell, a World War II veteran who was awarded a Purple Heart, unnamed-1came in and spoke to Mr. Kish’s class about his life and adventures on Jan. 21. It was very moving and Wilson made it clear what his values are and what he wants everybody to know. Wilson Colwell informed all the students to stay in school and do what matters: family, friends and our country.

Colwell started his adventure when he was 15 years old and knew what his calling was. He was going to join the military. At this time, WWII was starting so all military recruiters were searching for anybody to join, but you had to be 18 to join so Wilson joined by passing as 18. Wilson went through training and ended up as a paratrooper. In total, he jumped 52 times. Two times he jumped into battle!

As I listened to Colwell, I was moved. Every story he told put every student in the class on the edge of their seat, including me. I couldn’t believe the events Wilson went through.

unnamed-2On one occasion, Colwell was put with a tank and out of nowhere his commanding officer switched him from the first tank to the third tank. Well both the first and second tanks got hit with artillery shots from the enemies and all the soldiers in those tanks died. Colwell’s tank was also hit but the artillery shot missed and hit 15 feet away from the tank and Wilson got hit by the blast, leaving both his ears damaged and his body weak.

During all this Colwell got into a ditch and crouched down with his best friend. They crawled down the ditch to a farm house. On their way, two Germans spotted Colwell’s best friend and threw a grenade at him. Colwell’s best friend was killed right in front of him.

At this point all the students were crying. I had a few tears running down my face but the person it really hit was the teacher Mr. Kish, as his grandfather also served in the war.

Colwell didn’t give up there. He went on to reach the farmhouse and defeated two Germans that were smoking. He then returned to his camp, but as soon as he arrived, he blacked out for 2 weeks and awoke in England in a hospital. The doctors told him he could either go home or go back into the war Colwell chose to return to his brothers and fight once again in the war.

I was very moved by his story. Everyone walking out of that class was moved and couldn’t believe it. I was so glad I had the chance to hear his life and advice, and i know I will forever look up to Wilson Colwell, a WWII veteran for the United States.