On Monday, 300 U.S soldiers and veterans joined the British, French and German solders to commemorate D-Day Anniversary in Normandy, France. The soldiers visited several key battle sites during mission code named Operation Overlord and were briefed abou the history of the sites, participated in ceremonies and also met veterans of the invasion, as reported by Donna Miles with the American Forces Press Service.
Executive officer for the Army Reserve’s 345th Tactical Psychological Operations Company in Dallas Army Capt. Ted Jacobs said, “getting the chance to be here has been an amazing opportunity. Seeing what these veterans had to go up against — the terrain, the weather situation, … the web, the cold, being in fear of their lives all the time — it really does help you understand the challenges they had to deal with.”
The event also called for a meet and greet with the veterans of the D-Day invasion.
Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom serving with the 301st Psychological Operations Company from San Diego Army Sgt. Nathaniel Bier said, “I feel honored to have the opportunity to come out here and meet them face to face and shake their hands and say thank you. That is one of the best things I will always remember about this trip.”
Bier mentioned that he has a deeper understanding, and greater admiration of what had happened in Normandy as he walked down the beaches. “I had to stop myself from tearing up, because it’s so powerful just to be here,” Bier said. “I don’t know how some of these sergeants kept going, how they kept their people motivated as they were coming off the boats, and how they kept them moving forward. My hat is really off to these sergeants.”
Jacobs shared the same sentiment. He said, “I wouldn’t even dare to hold a candle to what those guys did. Certainly, what we are doing in Afghanistan is at times very difficult and dangerous. But what these guys went through, there is no comparison. Ours is a counterterrorism fight, so there are brief moments of intensity, but nothing to even come close to the scale of events that happened here.”
Image: U.S. Army Photo