PITTSTON TOWNSHIP, LUZERE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Living history was in the spotlight recently on a popular local radio show.
Two men who fought in World War II, each more than 100 years old, talked about their near-death experiences and they each recalled what it took to get through such fierce fighting, and why we all need to appreciate life one day at a time.
It was a very special panel on a recent Bob Cordaro Show on WILK NewsRadio, and a rare one: Two veterans of world war two alive and well.
There are very few left in Pennsylvania, but Tony Julian and Charlie Tansits were ready to chat.
Julian, who is a lifelong Scranton man, was with the Marine Corps and participated in four amphibious assaults, one on Iwo Jima in the Pacific. Many of his fellow marines didn’t make it out. At one point he was shot by a sniper and says shock took over. He doesn’t recall how he got up off the ground.
“Shock! When you get hit I knew I got hit but I didn’t know what part of my body. So they got me to a hospital on the ship,” recalled Julian.
“Close fighting hand to hand. Yeah, I don’t even know how I survived it, you know? Honest to God,” claimed Julian.
Tansits, another lifelong resident of the Electric City, was an army medic and was drafted in 1942. He served under General Patton’s army at the Battle of the Bulge, the largest and single bloodiest battle of the war. Tansits was sarcastic and brief when asked about serving under Patton.
When asked what he thought of George Patton, Tansits responded, “Our blood, his guts, that’s the way we looked at it”.
He also had sage advice for anyone, old or young, about how to live life to the fullest.
“My advice to anyone living today, if you’re going to do something do it now. If you’re going to live it up, live it up now. Don’t save nothing for the end,” advised Tansits.
Tony Julian’s bravery in world war two earned him a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.