"I didn't earn any medals or anything. I just did my job."
That's how Nicholas A. Cavallaro describes his service during World War II.
Cavallaro, who lives with his son and daughter-in-law in Quarryville, moved to the Southern End three years ago.
Last week, local and state officials stopped by his home on Warner Ave. to wish him well and thank him for his service.
It was service worth honoring, State Representative Bryan Cutler said last week as he delivered a House Citation to Cavallaro.
Rep. Cutler, members of his staff, and Quarryville Borough employees, met with Cavallaro in the house he shares with his son and daughter-in-law. The Cavallaros moved to Quarryville from New Jersey three years ago.
The citation, passed by the state house on the day before, notes Cavallaro landed with a mechanized unit the day after D-Day and served throughout the remaining months of the war.
He had been married a year and a half when he was drafted.
"I went in as an auto mechanic and then I repaired artillery pieces," he said.
Cavallaro was in the army for three and a half years, one of them in Europe where his unit moved through France, into Germany, and finally to Austria.
Seventy-five years ago last week, Cavallaro and other members of the First Army's 2nd Ordinance Battalion lined the rails of their troop ships and watched the first wave of allied troops land in Normandy.
"We watched the excitement from aboard ship," the 99-year-old Quarryville resident said last Thursday, June 6, 2019. "There were thousands and thousands of ships around us. It was scary. … So much went through my mind that day."
He and others in his battalion went ashore on June 7, 1944.
"I stayed with that unit the rest of the war," he recalled.
By the time the Germans surrendered, he and his battalion had made it to Lintz, Austria.
After he was discharged, he came home to his family.
"I stayed home for a little while. Then I went back to work. I had a job waiting for me," he said.