Brave D-Day Veteran Skydives at 97

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Brave D-Day Veteran Skydives at 97
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Brave D-Day Veteran Skydives at 97
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97-year-old D-Day veteran Tom Rice parachuted above the beaches of Normandy once again, just like he did 75 years ago. Rice joined more than a hundred other parachutists as they were dropped from the sky by a C-47. They were honoring the airborne soldiers that bravely parachuted into enemy territory on June 6, 1944.

Rice, of the San Diego area, originally made the jump with the US Army’s 101st Airborne Division. He landed safely in the 1944 invasion, despite having his parachute struck by an enemy bullet. Rice called his D-Day jump the worst he’s ever had.

“I got my left armpit caught in the lower left hand corner of the door so I swung out, came back and hit the side of the aircraft, swung out again and came back, and I just tried to straighten my arm out and I got free,” the D-Day veteran told the Associated Press.

His jump 75 years later, on the other hand, could not have gone any better. “It went perfect, perfect jump,” Rice said to the crowd after his landing. “I feel great. I’d go up and do it all again.”

Rice trained for the jump with a personal trainer for six months before the event. He made the jump in tandem with another parachutist, the American flag waving behind them. They touched down to the roaring cheers of thousands gathered at the landing site.

The courageous veteran says he landed right around the same place he did in 1944. Although, he was unable to pinpoint the exact location, as the D-Day jump was made at night. Rice said the event helped to bring him some closure from the war.

“All the GIs suffer from same blame and shame,” Rice told reporters. “It bothers us all the time for what we did. We did a lot of destruction, damage. And we chased the Germans out, and coming back here is a matter of closure. You can close the issue now.”

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