TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — Bill Parker, the cowboy is what they call him, revisited Omaha Beach in July.
A place where so much terror took place in his life. Over 1,000 casualties happened on that day.
Parker even said he would never go back, but that all changed just before he was laid to rest.
Longtime Tulsa resident, Bill Parker, is a man who stood up for the red, white, and blue on D-day, June 6, 1944.
A man who has touched thousands with his heroic efforts in Omaha as just a teenager.
The cowboy received two purple hearts and a bronze star after serving three more campaigns. One of those was when the Germans surrendered in May 1945.
His efforts touched people like Representative Kevin Hern, who was close to the World War II Veteran.
He gave a speech on the Congress House floor during the veteran’s funeral.
“In July of this year, Mr. Parker returned to Omaha Beach for the first time, since that day 78 years ago. I can only imagine how he felt standing on that calm beach than with the traumatic memories from that summer when he was just 19 years old risking life and limb for the future of this country," said Representative Kevin Hern.
NewsChannel 8 got to speak to a friend who grew close to him over the past four years.
He also went on a trip to Omaha with Bill.
“He was the last man standing that was on the first wave on Omaha Beach. There were only 200 in the first wave that survived, like Bill. Well, they're all gone except Bill. The last man and I think he is the only soldier to go from Omaha Beach to fight 600 miles and fight in Germany."
Family and friends tell NewsChannel 8 that Bill was a man with humor, a man who loved his family, and a man who loved his country.
“We’ve known Bill for a few years through our veteran’s groups. We have a 1944 Dodge AM that’s here to honor him, that’s how we met him. Through the vehicle groups and the veteran’s groups. Just really appreciate Bill and his service and it really an honor to know him," said Dean Williams.
David, Bill’s close friend, also said that he was honored at PBR's 'Unleash the Beast' earlier this year, a moment that was special to Bill.
15,000 men and women got on their feet and gave Sergeant Bill the proper acknowledgment for his services.
Sergeant Bill was 98 years old.