Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
The soldiers who inspired '12 Strong' are honoring D-Day heroes with a special parachute jump
With the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion into Normandy, France coming June 5, a group of veterans are planning a reenactment jump as part of the celebration.
But they'll be jumping with an item not on the packing list of World War II U.S. soldiers — or at least not the official one: bourbon.
The group of 15, backed by the American Freedom Distillery based in St. Petersburg, Florida, plans to jump out of the C-47 "Tico Belle," the same plane that dropped soldiers on D-Day. Now owned by the Valiant Air Command museum in Florida, the plane will be flown to France for the anniversary.
The distillery is owned and operated by a group of special forces veterans whose story was featured in the 2018 film "12 Strong," an account of the first operators deployed to Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
The team will parachute into the historic drop zones of Normandy on June 5th, along with the airdropped barrel of bourbon.
"Our brand is founded by a team of former special forces members, so it's an incredible honor to be invited to this celebration as a brand, but also as veterans and represent our country and brethren of past, present," Scott Neil, co-founder of American Freedom Distillery and Green Beret veteran said in an email.
"This is a unique, once in a lifetime opportunity for us and it's incredible to not only be invited to participate in the 75th anniversary but to be the lead aircraft for the D-Day reenactment of airborne celebrations."
Retired Army Maj. Mark Nutsch said that the Tico Belle made drops into German-occupied territory five nights in a row, and that it was exciting to be jumping from the same historic aircraft.
"We really wanted to honor the resistance fighters, who many people don't know about," said Nutsch, who works with the distillery as a brand representative. "We want the younger generation of warriors to understand what these men put on the line."
The reenactment will be meticulous, down to authentic WWII Allied uniforms, military round parachutes, weapons, and equipment.
"We're excited to the jump and really show our respect for the untold stories and sacrifices," said Nutsch. "We're looking forward to the camaraderie with other veterans along with our families."
When he found out they were going to be able to honor the heroes of D-Day with a jump, retired Chief Warrant Officer Bob Pennington "felt like a kid again."
"It may be the last time we have any WWII veterans," Pennington, who also works with the distillery, said. "It's an opportunity to honor the little known WWII resistance special operator teams, if not for them D-Day wouldn't have been a success."
This article originally appeared on Military.com
More articles from Military.com:
- Iconic 'HALO' Master Chief Will Come to Life in New TV Series
- Clint Eastwood to Make Movie About Guard Falsely Accused of Being Olympic Bomber
- The Original USAF Avenger's Long Journey Leads Cheadle to Marvel's 'Endgame'
WATCH NEXT: On The Red Carpet For '12 Strong'
More than 7,500 boots on display at Fort Bragg this month served as a temporary memorial to service members from all branches who have died since 9/11.
The boots — which had the service members' photos and dates of death — were on display for Fort Bragg's Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's annual Run, Honor and Remember 5k on May 18 and for the 82nd Airborne Division's run that kicked off All American Week.
"It shows the families the service members are still remembered, honored and not forgotten," said Charlotte Watson, program manager of Fort Bragg's Survivor Outreach Services.
After more than a decade of research and development and upwards of $500 million in funding, the Navy finally plans on testing its much-hyped electromagnetic railgun on a surface warship in a major milestone for the beleaguered weapons system, Navy documents reveal.
The Navy's latest Northwest Training and Testing draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Assessment (NWTT EIS/OEIS), first detailed by the Seattle Times on Friday, reveals that " the kinetic energy weapon (commonly referred to as the rail gun) will be tested aboard surface vessels, firing explosive and non-explosive projectiles at air- or sea-based targets."
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Congress fell short ahead of Memorial Day weekend, failing to pass legislation that would provide tax relief for the families of military personnel killed during their service.
Senators unanimously approved a version of the bipartisan Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act Tuesday sending it back to the House of Representatives, where it was tied to a retirement savings bill as an amendment, and passed Thursday.
When it got back to the Senate, the larger piece of legislation failed to pass and make its way to the President Trump's desk.
An NSA cyber weapon is reportedly being used against American cities by the very adversaries it was meant to target
In less than three years after the National Security Agency found itself subject to an unprecedentedly catastrophic hacking episode, one of the agency's most powerful cyber weapons is reportedly being turned against American cities with alarming frequency by the very foreign hackers it was once intended to counter.
The spectacle of hundreds of thousands of motorcycles roaring their way through the streets of Washington, D.C., to Memorial Day events as part of the annual Rolling Thunder veterans tribute will be a thing of the past after this coming weekend.
Former Army Sgt. Artie Muller, a 73-year-old Vietnam veteran and co-founder of Rolling Thunder, said the logistics and costs of staging the event for Memorial Day, which falls on May 27 this year, were getting too out of hand to continue. The ride had become a tradition in D.C. since the first in 1988.
"It's just a lot of money," said the plainspoken Muller, who laced an interview with a few epithets of regret over having to shut down Rolling Thunder.