LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Vincent Circello was born in New York City, but found himself living in northern Italy when World War 2 broke out.
"I saw German troops coming through our town, gather all the young folks, and take them somewhere," recalled Circello. "A lot of them never came back, never seen them. We ran on top of the roof so they wouldn't get my brother and I both. My mother encouraged us to run, so we did. They didn't get us."
Because he was American, Vincent went to the embassy where he was drafted by the U.S. Army and assigned to the 88th infantry.
“We saw German troops coming through, some planes dropped bombs. So much so that the great big thick front doors just opened from the explosion.”
He said the Italian people were thoughtful and took care of injured Germans.
“Some of the farmers, they got him into a wheelbarrow. Brought him to the little hospital where I lived, to take care of him. This was an enemy. People who had done so wrong to us.”
Circello said he learned discipline from the Army.
"Obedience. Obey your superior and everything's going to be fine. I did. I wanted to be the best soldier I could be."
Vincent and his wife Ruth moved to Sulphur after they lost their Hackberry home during Hurricane Rita.
After the war, Vincent Circello worked for firms like G-E and Honeywell before becoming an ordained minister.