“The Best Birthday Ever!”

Eleven-year-old Michael Wigington, from Tupelo, Mississippi, has been following D-Day veteran George Sarros on the Veterans History Museum social media for several months. As Michael’s June 4 birthday approached, his mom, Amy Wigington, made arrangements to bring Michael to Western North Carolina to meet his hero.

As part of his birthday present, Michael and his mom visited Sarros and heard his historical first-person accounts of the D-Day invasion. Sarros was a motor machinist on LST-515, which delivered tanks, ambulances, and troops in Higgins boats to the coast of Normandy on June 6, 1944.

Sarros showed pictures of his Navy buddies, his ship, and scenes of wreckage from a German torpedo attack to Michael and Mrs. Wigington, answering questions from the very knowledgeable and curious boy. After visiting Mr. Sarros, Michael and his mom also toured the Veterans History Museum of the Carolinas, learning more and seeing many unique artifacts and uniforms up close, and hearing educational stories from Museum Curator Emmett Casciato.

Michael and his mom have enjoyed educational projects such as building Higgins boats from cardboard, and decorating a 40″ x 26″ sheet cake to show a re-enactment of the D-Day invasion of Omaha Beach (pictured). They used pretzels to portray the Bavarian gates, rice crispy squares to make HIggins Boats (“painted” with grey-colored white chocolate), and graham crackers to portray bunkers.

Michael’s family serve their country in several ways. Mrs. Wigington has served in the Mississippi National Guard and teaches Social Science. Michael’s dad, Doug Wigington, is Chief of the Fire Department of Center, Mississippi, and an Emergency Medical Technician.

Mrs. Wigington said, “Michael was so excited after we left the museum. He said this was the best birthday ever, especially meeting Mr. Sarros!”