BEDFORD, Va. (WFXR) – Reynold D’Amato stopped by the D-Day Memorial Saturday. But unlike the people who come to visit, D’Amato was dropping something off.
“I just think it would be selfish to keep a collection like this in a closet somewhere and not share with the people who really are concerned about learning stuff about D-Day and what our soldiers went through,” says D’Amato.
D’Amato’s uncle, Gaston D’Amato enlisted in the Navy when he was just 17-years-old. Now he’ll be apart of the memorial that represents what he fought for.
“He was a lot fun and he loved children and I would’ve never thought in my whole entire life that he was capable of doing the things he did at D-Day.”
Gaston D’Amato was high decorated soldier. Not only was he an expert rifleman, he received the Purple Heart.
“The second day that he was there that evening he was finishing up and he was very close to shore and he got shot.”
Like all soldiers, D’Amato continued to run towards the danger.
“He ran up the beach and was running just wildly towards the German soldier and he was trying to shoot him again and his gun jammed up. He actually got to German stabbed him, killed him and this is the gun that actually shot him in the arm and it’s still jammed up.”
Recently Gaston D’Amato passed, and his wife felt his wartime collection would be in good hands with his nephew Reynold.
“She said Buster I want you to have this collection and I was just you know, that was pretty cool.”
Now the legacy of Gaston D’Amato will continue to live on.