29th ID D-Day Veteran recognized at Fort Belvoir ceremony

Army Private Peter Myers, the only known surviving member of the 29th Infantry Division's 116th Regiment Company F, participated Nov. 11, 2013, in the U.S. Army Garrison Fort Belvoir's Veterans Day Observance. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Lalita Laksbergs, 29th Infantry Division Public Affairs)

Army Private Peter Myers, the only known surviving member of the 29th Infantry Division’s 116th Regiment Company F, participated Nov. 11, 2013, in the U.S. Army Garrison Fort Belvoir’s Veterans Day Observance. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Lalita Laksbergs, 29th Infantry Division Public Affairs)

FORT BELVOIR, Va. — Army Private Peter Myers, the only known surviving member of the 29th Infantry Division’s 116th Regiment, Company F, participated in the U.S. Army Garrison Fort Belvoir’s Veterans Day Observance, Nov. 11, 2013. Myers is 90 years old and was in the first wave to land at Omaha Beach, June 6, 1944, D-Day. The 116th Regiment Company F originated as a National Guard Unit in Halifax County, Va.

“There is no place I would rather be today than here…the 29th is here,” said Myers.

The Veterans Day ceremony included a wreath laying, light refreshments and a special Vietnam-era presentation.

Col. Gregory D. Gadson, Fort Belvoir garrison commander, spoke about the significance of Veterans Day and the lives of Soldiers and their families.

“They have protected us from danger; and they have given others the opportunity for a better life,” said Gadson. “While it is important and proper to mark Veterans Day with a humble silence, it is far more important we spend all our days rejoicing in their service and reminding ourselves that because of our veterans our country still stands, our founding principles still shine.”

Myers was also recognized during the ceremony.

“Private Myers and all those who came before his generation and after have sacrificed in countless ways for our freedom,” said Don Carr, Fort Belvoir director of public affairs. “Let us all draw strength from their long legacy of service.”

“I enlisted in 1940 at 17,” said Myers. “When I signed-up, we were paid $21 a month. When they raised our pay to $50 a month we had so much money we didn’t know what to do with it.”

When Myers returned from duty after two years of hospitalization and rehabilitation, he took over the family business, a country store, in Liberty, Va. He was the commander at the local Veterans of Foreign Wars for many years and spent more than 50 years as a volunteer firefighter.

After the Veterans Day ceremony, the Myers’ family planned to travel to the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC.

“I’ve never been to the memorial,” said Myers. “I’m sure it will be something special.”

Maj. Brett McCreight, 29th Infantry Division Secretary of the General Staff, speaks to Army Private Peter Myers, Nov. 11, 2013. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Lalita Laksbergs, 29th Infantry Division Public Affairs)

Maj. Brett McCreight, 29th Infantry Division Secretary of the General Staff, speaks to Army Private Peter Myers, Nov. 11, 2013. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Lalita Laksbergs, 29th Infantry Division Public Affairs)