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Elderly WWII vets denied parachute into Normandy - But what about this idea ?

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posted on May, 8 2004 @ 07:20 PM
CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) -- A group of World War II veterans won't get to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Allied invasion of France next month the way they wanted -- the Army decided they're too old to safely parachute into Normandy.

"I am depressed. I was really looking forward to it," said Howard Greenberg, 79. "My reason for wanting to do it was to honor two Jewish friends of mine who were killed in World War II."

"I resent being told I'm not physically fit. I only weigh 11 pounds more than I did the day I was discharged," he said.

Greenberg, a retired optometrist in suburban Bay Village, served with the 11th Airborne in the Pacific during the war and jumped into Normandy in 1994 on the 50th anniversary of D-Day. html

Bob McCaffery, co-chairman of the veteran parachutists' group, said he was notified of the Army's decision on Thursday.

"The Army realized that these guys have trained and they are the exception among average 80-year-olds," said McCaffery, of Las Vegas, Nev. "But they said the risk of an injury happening at a ceremony of this magnitude was just too great."

Greenberg said he was aware of the danger.

In 1995, he was one of six WWII paratroopers who went to Russia for an airborne tribute. His jump was canceled after the man who jumped before him was killed when his parachute failed to open.

In 2000, while performing a tribute near Fort Bragg, North Carolina, another member of Greenberg's group was killed when his parachute did not open properly.

"My wife was not crazy about me jumping again," Greenberg said.

Okay, I admire these guys for what they want to do and I might have a way they can do it.

What if they were allowed to jump in tandem with current members of the Army's airborne troops ? This way, someone else is basically doing the work and they're just along for the ride, right ?

posted on May, 9 2004 @ 12:08 AM
has anyone pointed out to the army that 60 years ago when they jumped that was also very dangerous to thier health and that the army very forcibly encouraged them at the time !!

posted on May, 9 2004 @ 01:01 AM
60 years ago they were fit 20 year olds in a war situation.

Now they're all aroud 80 years old in a litigation-mad society.

Can you imagine the damage they could do to themselves as they hit the ground? What an outcry there'd be if (heaven forbid) there were any fatalities!

posted on May, 9 2004 @ 01:27 AM
[edit on 20-10-2004 by antipigopolist]

posted on May, 9 2004 @ 09:58 AM
How could the US stop them if they decided to charter a private plane to drop them?

Let them have their last hurrah!

posted on May, 9 2004 @ 10:03 AM
Airborne was volunteer then as it is now, nobody was forcibly made to jump (Well, maybe the boot in the arse if a trooper froze!).

If they want to go and break their hips and legs by jumping out of a plane, they can go and rent a plane and jump until they can jump no more, but the Army has the right to not allow them to jump into that ceremony, and they have apparently done so. Good for the Army, I say!

posted on May, 9 2004 @ 10:58 AM
I still think they should be allowed to jump as long as its done with the assistance of a younger, trained trooper.

I understand the legality of it and the waivers would take care of that, I'd just like to see these guys be able to have this one last thing in thier lives.

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