94-year-old veteran gets citizenship, passport for Normandy

ATLANTA-- It's easy to see 94-year-old Sherwin Callander as a young soldier. Maybe it's the button he wears with pride. At first glance, you think it says, "I survived D-Day". It doesn't. It says, "I survived Damn near everything."

Maybe it's the sense of humor that has a room of people at the Atlanta offices of US Citizenship and Immigration Services laughing at his stories. "I ended up in the brig a couple of times. It was my mouth that ended me up there," he said to laughs.

When Sherwin talks about D-Day, that's when you see it most. When the 70 years between now and then disappear.

"I was scared to death, just like everybody else," he said. "When bullets are whistling past and those big shells are going over head like whoop, whoop, whoop, you'd be saying your prayers."

The trip back to Normandy for the 70th anniversary almost didn't happen.

After serving his country and surviving so much, he couldn't prove he was a U.S. Citizen. Without that proof, he couldn't get a passport.

So, Monday afternoon, in a government building downtown, Callander was officially sworn in. Immediately after the ceremony, he was headed to the U.S. passport agency. For once, government bureaucracy moved quickly to ensure the World War II veteran would make the trip.

Some people might have been annoyed by the whole process, upset someone who's done so much for his country had to prove anything. But, that's just not Sherwin.

He had to raise money for the trip, and raise hell to make it happen. Along the way, he became a bit of a celebrity.

"It's something I'm not accustomed to, but I'm enjoying so much," he said with a big smile on his face. "It's so good to have people think something of you."

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