ABC7 Pay It Forward: D-Day vet receives $500, wants to donate to charity

Saturday, June 7, 2014
D-Day vet gets $500, wants to pay it forward
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A local D-Day vet continues to give back daily through volunteering. One of his friends contacted our 'Pay It Forward' team.

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- Seventy years ago, U.S. Army Sgt. John Schick stormed Normandy's Omaha Beach on D-Day.

"He's a patriot. He would go to war now if you wanted him to," said his friend, Vivian Teasley of Simi Valley.

Teasley says Schick, now 91 years old, volunteers for different organizations almost every day.

"He'll do anything for anybody," said Teasley.

Seventy years ago, U.S. Army Sgt. John Schick stormed Normandy
Seventy years ago, U.S. Army Sgt. John Schick stormed Normandy's Omaha Beach on D-Day.
John Schick

Teasley contacted our "Pay It Forward" team, saying she thinks it's time someone pays it forward to Schick.

"When you meet him, you'll know why I think so," she says.

We handed Teasley $500 to pay it forward and she took us to Schick's Simi Valley home to surprise him. She hugged him and gave him the money.

"Shocked is the word," said Schick.

Vivian Teasley, Elex Michaelson, John Schick
Vivian Teasley, Elex Michaelson, John Schick

He invited us to sit down as he took out his old cigar box filled with memories from 70 years ago. Schick will never forget the sounds of machine guns as he approached the beach.

"I told the guys, 'I am not going to get killed, I just know I'm going to make it,'" said Schick. "Then, my emotions were -- scared."

Schick fought for five hours before being hit by shrapnel.

"It burned, it really did. I had a compound fracture of the left scapula," said Schick. "The platoon sergeant was right with me, he got killed when I got hit. He's lying right beside me."

The sergeant's sister was the nurse at the makeshift hospital nearby where Schick received treatment.

"She said, 'Do you know a Sgt. Jim Songster?' I said, 'Yes, he's our sergeant.' And she said, 'Is he alright?' I said, 'I think so, last I knew.' I couldn't tell her," recalled Schick.

Before going home, Schick visited the cemetery.

"I went up there and I just cried like a baby. I couldn't handle it, seeing those guys," said Schick.

Schick received a Purple Heart. He felt he had to pay it forward for the rest of his life on behalf of his brothers who didn't make it.

"You felt like you had something to do for them, I guess," said Schick.

He now wants to pay forward our $500 to a veterans' organization.

"I'm no hero. I keep telling her that," Schick said of Teasley.

Teasley definitely disagrees.

"I just wish he would realize that he did do something -- they all did something," said Teasley.