HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This week, the world is marking the 70th anniversary of VE-Day, or the celebration of the end of World War Two in Europe. One Hattiesburg Army veteran remembers that victorious time for allied forces, but he also carries the physical and emotional scars from his service in that war.
"I cry sometimes," said Elbert Hopkins, 89, who was a gunner on a Sherman tank. "I'm getting older, but the nightmares and all that, they stay with me," he said.
Hopkins was a 19-year-old corporal when he served in Europe in the spring of 1945. He said he witnessed the many horrors of war, including the deaths of both soldiers and civilians.
"I saw a lot of killing," he said.
On April 13, 1945, Hopkins became one of the 671, 278 members of the U.S. military who were wounded in World War Two. That day, a German rocket exploded inside his tank.
He lost an eye and spent several months recovering. He was in a hospital in England when the Nazis surrendered.
"I can't express how joyful I was that the war was over with," Hopkins said. "I feel kinda proud that I served in the United States Army and I thank The Lord a whole lot that I made it back, because a whole lot of others didn't," he said.