Paratrooper vets told to pack it in... [Archive] - Glock Talk


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05-09-2004, 07:54
Paratrooper vets told to pack it in
Safety worries forbid aging World War II survivors' sky-dives
The Associated Press
Sunday, May 9, 2004

CLEVELAND - A group of World War II veterans won't get to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Allied invasion of France next month the way they wanted - the Army decided they're too old to safely parachute into Normandy.

"I am depressed. I was really looking forward to it," said Howard Greenberg, 79. "My reason for wanting to do it was to honor two Jewish friends of mine who were killed in World War II."

"I resent being told I'm not physically fit. I only weigh 11 pounds more than I did the day I was discharged," he said.

Greenberg, a retired optometrist in suburban Bay Village, served with the 11th Airborne in the Pacific during the war and jumped into Normandy in 1994 on the 50th anniversary of D-Day.

That time, President Bill Clinton allowed 38 veterans to jump near Ste.-Mere-Eglise, the D-Day objective of the 82nd Airborne Division.

Some of them landed on a herd of French cows.

Bob McCaffery, chairman of the Friends of D-Day 2004, the group raising money to pay for the jump, said he was notified of the Army's decision on Thursday.

"The Army realized that these guys have trained and they are the exception among average 80-year-olds," said McCaffery, of Las Vegas, Nev. "But they said the risk of an injury happening at a ceremony of this magnitude was just too great."

McCaffery had hoped President Bush would intercede this time, in part because the first President Bush parachuted when he was 75.

McCaffery said the group will appeal to the White House.

White House spokesman Trent Duffy said the White House typically reviews such requests. Army Col. Dan Wolfe, executive officer of the World War II Commemoration Committee, did not return a call to his office seeking comment yesterday.

Greenberg said he was aware of the danger. Two paratroopers he knew have died in tribute jumps - one in 1995 in Russia and another in 2000 near Fort Bragg, N.C.

"My wife was not crazy about me jumping again," Greenberg said.

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05-09-2004, 17:22
hey if those guys want to jump let em, if im 70-80 and still want to thow my butt out of a airplane then somebody better let me do it, lol. Hopefully they just have a better chute than we use now.

05-09-2004, 18:41
I jumped in to St. Mere Eglise in 1994 for the 50th anniversary. We formed up on the drop zone, marched to a small audience suffering through the speech of some senator on the drop zone, then on in to the town itself. We formed up around a small group of old men in the center of the town. They wore light blue nylon jackets and VFW caps. They had big white jump wings on the back of those jackets and each of them had at least three gold stars on those wings. They were the veterans who had been there fifty years earlier when the welcoming committee was the German army. I was honored to be there. I know a few of the original veterans jumped in that day. If it were up to me I'd let them jump. They could do what ever they wanted to. They earned that option, and far more! ;?

MR. Fantastic
05-10-2004, 19:45
Do any units commemorate the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?


05-11-2004, 12:58
Originally posted by MR. Fantastic
Do any units commemorate the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?


Yes. During V-J Day!!

If the Airborne veterans want to jump, I say let them. If anyone earned the right to, it's them.

I met a Gentleman who was with the 507th PIR of the 82nd Airborne Division this morning (at the dump). Near as I can tell, he had two stars on his wings (worn on his cap). He told me that he and his fellow (Normandy) Veterans of the 507th are going down to the Airborne Museaum at Fayettevilel, NC for the 60th Anniversary of D-Day. They are hoping to get recognized as actually participating in that operation. Turns out the 507th is not mentioned.

God bless them!!

05-11-2004, 14:02
Originally posted by MR. Fantastic
Do any units commemorate the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?^c

Originally posted by CarlosDJackal
Yes. During V-J Day!! Carlos, wish I'd thought of that!;? ^6 ^c

05-12-2004, 16:58
I'm jumping with the Pathfinders at the Ranville DZ for the 60th. Jumped at the 2000 and 2001 D-Day Event. Didn't do last 2002 or 2003 as most of our guys were deployed. This will probably be the last one as the old guys are getting a bit wobbly. God bless 'Em. ;1

05-13-2004, 05:19
Originally posted by MR. Fantastic
Do any units commemorate the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

^c ;z ;z

05-16-2004, 18:37
Originally posted by MR. Fantastic
Do any units commemorate the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
Originally posted by spetsnaz777
;z ;z Yep...

;K ;K