ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - John Robert Slaughter, a D-Day veteran and one of the driving forces behind the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, has died.
National D-Day Memorial Foundation president Robin Reed told The Roanoke Times that the 87-year-old Slaughter died Tuesday at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. The hospital confirmed Slaughter's death.
Reed described Slaughter as a "soldier's soldier," a man devoted to his family, community and fellow veterans.
At 19, Slaughter waded ashore on Omaha Beach as a sergeant and squad leader in Company D, 116th Infantry, 29th Division.
Memories of that day and of the months of fierce combat that followed compelled Slaughter decades later to fight for and help win a memorial for the D-Day veterans. Nineteen soldiers from the Bedford area died during the D-Day invasion's first wave.