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French native honors D-Day veterans; named Red Cross Military Hero

volunteered to goBernard on his way to help during the snow storm in 2009 in south west Virginia (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - A man being named a the Red Cross Military Hero isn't a veteran of the United States military.

But that makes him no less of an American hero.

Bernard as a young boy in France with his parents.

Bernard Marie spent the past 30 years serving those who stormed the beaches of Normandy.

Thanks to the Americans and their efforts on D-Day, Bernard's native country, France, changed forever. Since then, Bernard has held U.S. D-Day veterans close to his heart.

And Bernard began his mission to pay that thanks forward when he moved to Indiana and organized his first dinner in honor of D-Day veterans.

It's a dinner celebration that moved with Bernard when he relocated to Roanoke in 2000.

It's been 30 years since the first the annual dinner, and it's still going strong - making him worthy of the Red Cross Military Hero award.

"I was [at the breakfast] a couple years ago when Bill Overstreet was recognized, and Bill Overstreet flew his plane under the Eiffel Tower chasing a German, trying to knock down a German in front of him. There's a huge difference between him and me going on the same stage for the same award, there's something that make me feel uncomfortable," Bernard humbly explained.