Heroes Among Us: Army Veteran Joe Wentz Lied About His Age To Enlist In WWII

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SUNRISE (CBSMiami) –  This week we meet World War II veteran Joe Wentz, who served overseas from 1944-1947.

At the time, Wentz was too young to serve his country but he didn’t let that stop him.

With his forged birth certificate, he made his way down to the local recruitment office and enlisted.

Wentz was only 14.

Veteran Joe Wentz used a forged birth certificate to enlist in the U.S. Army at the age of 14. (Source: CBS4)

He joined the 3rd armored division and fought in what became known as the Battle of the Bulge under the orders of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who would later become the 34th President of the United States.

A boy amongst men, Joe courageously served and still remembers the day that his real age was discovered.

“My mother, through the Red Cross, somehow she found out about me,” Wentz explained. “And the Red Cross traced me down there and said, ‘you can stop lying now we know how old you are.’

“I’m not a hero, the heroes are still back there,” he added.

Well the Florida Panthers think differently because they recently honored this hero at one of their home games.

We at CBS4 agree with the Panthers.

To WWII veteran Joe Wetnz, you are very much a hero and we’d like to thank you for your service.