Recognizing those who answered the call to serve and protect

Published: Updated:

Tidewell Hospice honored 45 veterans at a special pinning ceremony Thursday. It’s through the Tidewell Honors Veterans Program.

Among those honored, was William Edward Daniel. He was a husband, a father, and a soldier. He escaped starvation, being held captive in a concentration camp in WWII, and then spent the rest of his life guarding the country he loved.

“Everyone knows D-day. Well, he was in one of those boats,” recalled William’s wife, Carolyn Daniel.

William spent 13 months of his service as a prisoner of war. He was captured in Normandy.

U.S. troops wade ashore during the Allied invasion of Normandy, France, June 6, 1944. D-Day was one of the world’s most gut-wrenching and consequential battles. Nearly 160,000 American, British, Canadian and French troops participated in the invasion of northwest France, known as Operation Overlord. More than 9,000 Allied forces were killed or wounded. AP PHOTO

“The first thing they do is put wooden shoes on you so you can’t run fast,” added Carolyn. But, his family was told he was missing in action.

“Nobody there knew it, but the war had been won the day before, but they didn’t tell the prisoners,” she recalled. “He hears the airplane, he sees American planes, and they’re parachuting down to bring him food. He said he was so happy. He said he’ll never forget that day.”

Upon returning to the U.S., William was nursed back to health and still felt the call of duty.
He was among the first to guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

He was awarded its identification badge. His wife has a replica.

And at the pinning ceremony in North Port Thursday, Carolyn Daniel accepted a pin posthumously on her husband’s – the WWII and former POW – behalf.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.