During the planning phase for this trip, the cadets came to realize that we would really want to spend some time in Paris while in France. It would be a shame if we traveled that far and didn’t see the “must-see” places and things in the City of Lights.  

Published in Lifestyle

We awoke early in the morning on Wednesday at Irene's house in Quinneville — our last morning there. We had a quick breakfast, loaded up the van and said our farewells to our new friend. We picked up Dom at his La Fiere house so that he could travel with us for the remainder of the week. We were off to soak in more of the long history of war in France. 

Published in Lifestyle

If there is a bigger day than the 6th of June during this series of events, for paratroopers, it would be the day of the "big" jump. The day that every American paratrooper should experience at least once in their life. The day when Allied militaries, exhibition teams, and others who are able to fit onto the schedule and into the plan conduct a large combined, joint airborne operation onto the historic drop zone of the 82nd Airborne Division 75 years ago. It is the holy grail of jumps ... and I have been honored to participate in a few. To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the original Operation Neptune jumps, the planners ensured that the jump would be on the weekend — which means that it is the 9th rather than the 6th. 

Published in Lifestyle

I woke to a quiet Normandy coast — very different than the morning of the 6th of June, 1944. The German defenders were expecting quiet in the area — they had been convinced that when the Allies finally committed to attacking, the attack would likely be elsewhere. The German commander, Erwin Rommel or the Desert Fox, was so comfortable and confident that he was out of the area — on a personal shopping trip to buy a birthday gift for his wife in Paris. BIG mistake. 

Published in Lifestyle

It is late in Normandy, but if I don't send this report now, it will be overcome by the big day's events. The fifth of June would have been D-Day, but the weather did not cooperate. Truth be told, the allies were well into the deployment when they had to shift 24 hours. The weather here in the region changes even more than it does in Richmond County. Not only that, but a few miles away from wherever you are, the weather is 180 degrees different. So it went today.

Published in Lifestyle