Combat Camaraderie On Normandy Beach

At 16 years old, Ronald “Rondo” Scharfe lied about his age to join the military. Though he told his parents he likely wouldn’t be sent overseas until he was of age, Rondo found himself shipped off just three months after enlisting — where he would go on to fight in the Battle of Iwo Jima before most teenagers graduated high school.


Martha originally met Rondo on a trip to Iwo Jima while writing her book Unknown Valor, and now the two meet back up in Normandy, France as they commemorate D-Day. Rondo discusses what it feels like to be surrounded by fellow WWII veterans on the 80th anniversary, how what he went through in combat and the loss of his comrades has forever impacted his outlook on life, and what his hopes are for America moving forward.


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