"Tough ‘Ombres" get together for emotional reunion

They're part of what's called ‘the greatest generation.’ They are World War II veterans who saw combat at D-Day, the Battle of the Bulge and even liberated imprisoned Jews from concentration camps.

Every year, the few who are left meet to share the stories of that time they shared at war.

The 90th Division dates back to World War I. This is the 99th reunion made up of a handful of World War II veterans and later. It's a precious time for them to share the stories that made them great.

"Us world war two guys are thinning out,” said World War II veteran Vernon Schmidt.

This year, only 13 were able to attend the reunion.

“This may be my last. I'm 98,” said World War II veteran Milt Staley. “But I enjoy it: companionship, meeting guys like this."

The reunion of the Army's 90th Infantry Division, or 'Tough ‘Ombres' as they were called, is something they look forward to each year.

"That's one of the greatest things coming here,” Schmidt said. “All of a sudden, you find a new guy."

And the memories are still vivid. Schmidt helped liberate the Flossenburg Concentration Camp.

"I know the first day I got a shower and I know the next day I got a shower because that was two months apart,” he recalled.

Elmer Ward and Milt Staley were a part of D-Day on Normandy Beach.

"Everywhere, just bodies all over the beach,” recalled Ward. “And it leaves an impression on you that's not easily shaken off."

"And I say I've walked from the shores of France back and forth to Czechoslovakia,” Staley said.

They love to talk about war then and now, and they feel the privilege of the nickname they've earned.

"To be the greatest generation is certainly a great honor to be called that,” Ward said.

But the reunion helps to strengthen a bond that the men share for life.

"We have been there. We've done it. I can talk to Vern and tell him stories that I couldn't tell anybody else ‘cause he knows what I'm talking about,” Staley said. “Some of the finest men to my thinking that ever walked the Earth."

The men will take a tour of the Veterans Museum in Fort Worth on Saturday and spend the rest of the weekend swapping stories.

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