World War II Vet Who Turned Down ’45 World Series Tickets Gets Chance To Cheer On Cubs

CHICAGO (CBS) — As the Cubs were taking on the New York Mets in Game 4 of the NLCS, CBS 2’s Brad Edwards spent the day with some fans who have spent a lifetime waiting for next year.

Bill Madden is from South Bend, Ind.

“I’m here to provide to a miracle for the Cubs,” Madden said.

He knows a thing or two about those.

“I was shot twice and buried once,” he said.

Madden fought in World War II at the battle of Iwo Jima the day after his 19th birthday.

“They played Detroit in 1945 they lost in 7 games,” he said.

That, when he originally returned stateside to his Chicago naval hospital.

“The Cubs sent over free tickets to the wounded veterans no strings attached,” Madden said. “They got to the hospital. The hospital official said you can’t go have the tickets unless you work for them. We said the hell with that.”

Flash forward seven decades, FMadden was at the game for the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes. He was joined by Staff Sergeant De Leon, who lost his leg to an IED in Afghanistan in 2004, and Chicago Staff Sergeant Acosta, who lost his arm to an IED in Baghdad in 2005. Madden was there with men like him, wearing wounds and Cubbie blue.

“I’ve been practically deaf since age 19,” he said.

And in part, that means, this spritely 89-year-old cheers loud.

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