A Palm Beach man still remembers the D-Day invasion vividly.
Although he is 96-years-old, Arthur Klineman admits it's tough to quiet his mind every June 6th.
He says his thoughts always take him back.
"I hit the beach on the first wave," Klineman said. "I was the first man to put a foot on Omaha beach."
Klineman was a 31-year-old dentist at the time of World Warr Two. He volunteered for the job because he says the Army needed anyone with basic medical skills.
"I can remember almost every little thing that happened," he said. "The other men in my medical battalion went off to the side and hid. But I was determined to do something and I did."
In his first ever interview about his experience, Klineman tells Newschannel 5 he still remembers the young soldier sitting next to him on the ship leading up to the shore.
"He showed me his wife and his beautiful family," Klineman said. "When we hit the beach he was practically decapitated."
Klineman not only treated the wounded but helped find a final resting spot for casualties, carrying one of the first bodies up to a nearby plateau.
"That's how that graveyard got started that is so well known and populated," he said, referring to the now famous memorial at Normandy.
He admits he'll never know why he was spared in the midst of so much death. He says a bomb hit his leg but it was a dud.
"That experience made me very strong mentally," he said. "Nothing can upset me."
After the war, Klineman went back to practicing dentistry in Buffalo, New York for many years before moving to Palm Beach.
Copyright 2009 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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