Honoring D-Day veterans who are part of San Diego Honor Flights

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – On the 75th anniversay of D-Day the Director of Public Relations for Honor Flight San Diego joined Good Morning San Diego to discuss several of the veterans from San Diego.

Staff Sergeant Thomas Rice, U.S. Army 101st Airborne Screaming Eagle. He just jumped into Normandy this morning for the anniversary of D-Day and has been doing this for years to honor those who were killed on June 6, 1944. At 97 years old, he was doing Crossfit in Coronado to prepare for the jump!

Private First Class Joseph Reilly, U.S. Army 101st Airborne Screaming Eagle. He has been travelling back to Normandy for years to honor and remember his brothers.

Corporal Robert Vallera, Sr., U.S. Army 87th Chemical Mortar Battalion. He was trained as a forward observer (a pathfinder) to provide close fire support for advancing troops and serving as a forward observer on D-Day, his nine-man team landed in the early morning hours on Utah Beach. He was later captured and was a POW. He just passed away 11 days ago and this stresses the importance of getting our veterans stories told and getting them on Honor Flight so they can truly be thanked for their service and sacrifice. The family is holding a celebration of life today to honor him for his D-Day actions.

Petty Officer First Class Bernard Trifoso, U.S. Coast Guard. He was a CG medic in the Higgins boats going ashore on D-Day. In his words he says, “half the boats went right and half the boats went left. The boats on the left got all shot up and I just happened to be in the boats on the right.”

Private First Class Forrest “Huff” Huffstetler, U.S. Army 82nd Airborne. He jumped into Normandy on D-Day and was later at the Battle of the Bulge. H was appointed a Knight in the National Order of the Legion for his contributions to the Allies in the Liberation of France.

Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News