(KXAN) Donald Morrison didn't know if he was going to make it as a soldier. He wanted to go into the Navy right after high school, but didn't pass the physical.

"I was rejected because of my flat feet. I passed the written exam, but not the physical," Morrison said.

In May of 1944, after his last rejection, he listened to his father's advice if he really wanted to get into the military service.

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"He said, 'If you want to go that bad, get off the farm,'" Morrison said. He quickly got a job working for the county doing construction. Just six weeks later, he was drafted.

On March 23, 1945, while moving through the hills near the Rhine River in Germany, his team was attacked. Morrison says as he reached down to grab his machine gun, a shell detonated close by.

"That's when that other one came in, the shrapnel went across my face and it hit here and knocked me out," Morrison says.

Lying unconscious and bleeding from the wounds on his face, his fellow soldiers believed he was dead and continued marching on.

Moments later, Morrison woke up alone.

"I looked around there wasn't a soul, nobody," he said.

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