BOISE -- An Idaho World War II veteran is going on the trip of a lifetime, thanks to a group from Belgium.
Melvin Lagoon, now 89 years old, is one of the few remaining veterans of the 17th Airborne, who played a major part in helping the Allies win the Battle of the Bulge, the biggest and bloodiest battle of World War II.
Lagoon, then just barely out of his teens, fought across Belgium and Germany, surviving without much of a scratch on him.
"I consider myself pretty fortunate to be here for all the stuff we've gone through," said Lagoon.
Once, while acting as a spotter for artillery, the Nazis figured out his position. He and another soldier stayed in their foxhole for most of the night, while the shells fell around them. "They hit everything but the hole we were in, I think... They thought we were killed up there."
Of course, he survived. Many of his comrades though, weren't so lucky.
"That night they pulled us out of the field, we only had about 32 guys, out of 180 guys," said Lagoon. "A lot of people got killed for no reason at all, really. But, that's the way war is."
Now, almost 70 years later, Lagoon tries to keep up with the men he fought alongside so long ago. "We're closer than most brothers, I think."
While he's gone to many reunions, he's never returned to Belgium, however that will change.
"I never in my fondest dreams thought we'd be able to go there," said Lagoon.
A Belgium group sponsors an annual trip for a U.S. veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, where they're treated as returning heroes and dignitaries at commemoration ceremonies. This year, they chose Melvin.
"I'm sure there's going to be some tender moments," said Lagoon.
One of those tender moments will honor Lt. Telesca. He was one of Lagoon's commanding officers who on their first day of fighting, learned his wife gave birth to a daughter back home. He was killed just a few hours later.
While in Belgium, at a ceremony near his grave site, Melvin will read a letter from Telesca's daughter to her father. He says it might be a little tough to get through it.
Melvin arrives in Belgium on March 21st, and returns on the 30th.