Story by SFC Daniel Wallace on 06/14/2019Each year, at the beginning of June, the quite seaside region of Normandy, France comes alive.
Shops that sit closed much of the year prepare for business.
Towns are decorated with the flags of America, Britain, Canada, and other countries.
Banners with faces and dates are hung on light poles.
All this is to honor the service members who freed this region and put an end to the tyranny and oppression of World War II.
More than 100 Paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division traveled to Sainte Mere Eglise, France for the D-Day 75 Commemoration events June 1-10.
The All American's participated in ceremonies, parades, and events honoring the forefathers of "America's Guard of Honor" and other U.S. military units crucial to D-Day and the success of the Normandy invasion.
Chosen by his sergeant major to attend the Normandy events, Spc. Robert Logwood, an 82nd Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division water carrying specialist, said as soon as he got to Normandy it was an interesting experience.
"I felt overwhelmed and just grateful to be there, because of all the history that happened before I joined the military," said Logwood a Chicago, Illinois native.
Logwood said the most memorable point was the jump on June 9. "The jump was absolutely amazing," said Logwood. "It was probably one of the best jumps that I've had."
Some of the paratroopers jumped from American aircraft with American jumpmasters and American chutes, but Logwood was lucky enough to be selected to jump with the French paratroopers.
"They were very professional and their parachutes are a lot different from the ones that we use back in Bragg," said Logwood. "They're a lot lighter so I was a little apprehensive at first when I was jumping with them, but it all turned out to be a great experience."
Logwood also had the opportunity to meet some of the WWII veterans who jumped in with the division during D-Day.
"It was shocking to meet them just because they were able to do so many things I personally don't know if I could be able to do," said Logwood. "It was very humbling meeting those World War II veterans."
Also representing the division, Staff Sgt. Jason M. Conley, an 82nd Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division platoon sergeant, described first arriving in Normandy.
"Instead of just reading the history, being able to be where my grandfather was is amazing," said Conley. "When he was describing his story, to be in those footsteps following behind him is a once in a lifetime experience."
A Sacramento, California native, Conley couldn't pick one moment as his favorite part.
"Just going through every bit of the ceremonies, just to hear the history, the speeches, and to be a part of commemorating what the past paratroopers and soldiers have sacrificed for," said Conley.
For Conley the jump let him connect to his families past.
"To look down and see the crowds supporting all the paratroopers and being able to do the same thing my grandfather did was emotional," said Conley. "That was overwhelming."
If any paratroopers were hoping to get selected to represent the division in the future, Logwood said he would tell them to keep working hard.
"Exceed the standards you have within your unit, and just continuously apply for those slots," said Logwood. "Do your research before you go as well, because if you do your research, then the experience is a lot more amazing and you know the history behind it, and you feel it a lot more once you're in Sainte-Mre-glis."