Thursday marks 69 years since American troops stormed the beaches at Normandy on D-Day - a battle that turned the tide of World War II.
On June 6, 1944 Proffitt landed on the beaches at Normandy with the 116th infantry regiment, Company K from Charlottesville.
"I'm not afraid to tell the truth, I was afraid," Proffitt said.
As platoon sergeant, he was second in command of his 40-man boat team.
"I said hit the beach running. And run as far as you can go before you stop," he said.
Proffitt remembers his men landing on the clear beach with no protection.
"Being a leader, you couldn't even give word of mouth signal to anybody you had to do it all by hand. Nobody could hear you. It was so loud, shells bursting and rifles going off," he said.
The 116th regiment lost 1,200 men on that beach. Many more would die in the months that followed.
"As far as I know, I'm the only one that's still living," Proffitt said.
Proffitt's son says the sacrifices of his father and that generation should be remembered and cherished beyond just the anniversary of D-Day.
"We sleep under the blanket of freedom that they helped to provide," Sterling Proffitt said.
On Memorial Day, Proffitt joined the crowd in Charlottesville to honor the men who fought by his side and made the ultimate sacrifice.
"It brought tears to my eyes. Because I had a lot of friends you know," he said.
Proffitt has been awarded countless medals and honors for his military service, including two Silver Stars, a Purple Heart, and a Distinguished Service Cross.
In 2012, Charlottesville Mayor Satyendra Huja named February 20 Chubby Proffitt Day to honor this hometown hero.
Sign up to receive NBC29 news and weather updates in your inbox daily.