97-year-old Edward Manley says he was a tough kid.
"I could do a 360 on the high bar. I could swing completely when I was 8. When I was 7 1/2 I swam my first mile," he recalled.
His toughness was tested when he was 22. "The price that we paid on D-Day. They call it "Blood Beach" for a good reason, it was horrible."
Manley can't forget June 6, 1944. "We were the third flight; we are talking D-Day. There were three flights. The first flight took off at midnight, the second flight took off at one o'clock, and I took off at two o'clock."
He parachuted near Utah Beach. He says shots were fired in his direction but he wasn't hurt.
He encountered some soldiers along the way. "I almost shot some of them and I couldn't understand why they had such short rifles. They were pilots for the gliders and he had to get them back to the channel and there was a vessel waiting for them to take them back to England."
Manley made it through D-Day but later was shot in both legs in the Battle of the Bulge and captured.
Last month, he was honored on a weekend flight to Washington D.C. by Southeast Florida Honor Flight with other veterans. He is thankful to represent our country. "I thought it was the world."