With the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy just over the horizon, a group of Green Berets commemorated the valor of their Army Special Forces predecessors with a uniquely picturesque parachute jump over France.

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The diminishing ranks of indigenous code talkers who helped the U.S. and Allies win World War II have decreased by one more with the death of Fleming Begaye Sr., who died on Friday.

He was 97.

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Robert Maxwell's Medal of Honor is fastened by Mary Spilde, president of Lane Community College, at a ceremony dedicating the Maxwell Student Veteran Center in his honor Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Eugene, Ore. Maxwell, 92, of Bend, Ore., was awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry during World War II. (Associated Press/The Register-Guard/Paul Carter)

Former World War II-era Army communications technician and Medal of Honor recipient Robert D. Maxwell has died at age 98, nearly 75 years after he leapt on a grenade to save his fellow comrades-at-arms during a pitched September 1944 firefight in eastern France.

Maxwell, who was given the U.S. military's highest award for valor in 2012, was the oldest living Medal of Honor recipient in the United States when he died Saturday in the town of Bend, Oregon, according to the Associated Press.

That title now falls to former Army Tech Sgt. Charles H. Coolidge.

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Vernon Foster, front, with 2nd Platoon, Company A, 714th Tank Battalion (U.S. Army/Johns Hopkins University)

Vernon Foster, a centenarian, World War II tank commander and retired Baltimore County dairy farmer is now a French knight.

Foster, 100, fought the Nazis in France and Germany during the war from his Sherman tank "Dottie," named after his wife.

He received the French Legion of Honor badge at the French Embassy in Washington, D.C. Established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, the Legion of Honor is the highest French order of distinction for military and civil merits.

The country has previously honored other American veterans who helped liberate the country from Germany in World War II.

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Ben Affleck is gearing up to direct and star in Ghost Army, a new World War II movie about a secret U.S. Army unit made up of artists, actors, advertising agents, and engineers who had one mission: to dupe Hitler.

And that's exactly what they did.

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Team American Freedom with the historic C-47 Tico Bell in the background. (Q Concepts via Military.com)

Editor's Note: This article by Sean Mclain Brown originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

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.

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