As a Second World War veteran, who took part in the D-Day landings, Fred Ward is fiercely independent.
But when the 82-year-old's glaucoma led to macular degeneration, severely affecting his vision, he was determined to retain his capabilities.
Mr Ward, who lives in Oldbury with his wife Edna, is still losing his sight but a national trust set up to help war veterans battling to keep this vital sense is helping him retain his independence.
His eyesight has become progressively worse over the years and as a result had a major impact on his life. He was unable to read, write, watch television or keep up his hobbies of rambling and photography.
But following his first visit to St Dunstan's National Centre in Ovingdean, Sussex, Mr Ward - an Orlicken gunner with the Maritime Royal Artillery - is beginning to turn his life around.
"They've taught me lots of practical things, like how to walk with a cane, but their encouragement has given me back my self-confidence," he said.
"I've had glaucoma for some years and it's continued to get worse as I've got older.
"I still have to use widescreen binoculars to watch television, I used to use them for birdwatching but I can't do that any more."
However, the charity's staff have helped Mr Ward reclaim one of his original passions - photography.
After completing a course in basic photography, he has begun taking pictures again "although I do 'chop off' people's head sometimes."
Mr Ward added: "When I'm mowing the lawn, I have to put a white line down the side, so I can see roughly where I'm going. Also I have a habit of taking out the wrong plants, flowers instead of weeds, which Edna tells me off about.
"Certainly, St Dunstan's have helped me regain my independence and enthusiasm for life."
Accompanied by fellow Second World War veterans, Mr Ward will take part in celebrations at the Cenotaph in London on Sunday.
He joined the Maritime Royal Artillery (MRA) as an 18-year-old gunner at the start of the war.
On June 6, 1944, he was one of many servicemen who brought supplies to Allied troops on Omaha Beach.
Mr Ward sailed from Barry Docks on the SS Rando, a converted collier carrying supplies and luxuries for his US comrades.
Although operating an Orlicken gun with the MRA, he was actually signed on as Merchant Navy crew because the Geneva Convention banned manned guns on merchant ships. "We made good headway and were able to offload our cargo on to Omaha Beach, make a quick turnaround to pick up more stores and then head back to the beaches," said Mr Ward.
"We made six trips to Utah Beach as well. I remember the sound of enemy fire, it was overwhelming and terrifying."
As he unloaded the cargo on the beaches, he saw some of the bloodiest scenes of the Second World War.
"I saw the worst casualties, the first two waves of soldiers who landed were just wiped out," said Mr Ward.
"The worst was the bodies in the water. I'll never forget the sight of that carnage."