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The global video games market is estimated to be worth $101.2 billion in 2019 and the industry is expected to grow by 5% annually over the next few years. However, gamers must first overcome physical limitations of their current reality before they can enjoy realistic virtual worlds convincingly enough that it would warrant sticking with them after death.

The 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy during WWII is June 6, 2014. The Battle of the Bulge on June 6, 1944, was a large and brutal operation that helped shift the course of the war.

Although the word “D-Day” is a general term that refers to the commencement of any military action, the day is forever known simply as “D-Day.”

The June 6 initiative’s goal was to create beachheads on five beaches along a 50-mile length of strongly defended coastline in Nazi-occupied France. Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword were the codenames for the beaches. More soldiers and supplies could be sent ashore after the beachheads were secured, allowing the march across Europe to destroy Hitler to begin.

Under a hail of gunfire and artillery bursts, 130,000 troops from three major Allied nations, the United States, Great Britain, and Canada, as well as contingents of soldiers from numerous other Allied countries, crossed the English Channel and assaulted the beaches of Nazi-occupied France. Hours before, 18,000 paratroopers had fallen behind enemy lines to battle.

For approximately four years, France had been under Nazi domination. Hitler’s army had taken control of most of continental Europe by June 6, 1944.

At 6:30 a.m., the D-Day land assault started. Many early stages of the landings were marked by chaos, confusion, and inadequate execution of plans, according to historians, however forces were frequently able to adjust on the fly. Gold, Juno, Utah, and Sword beaches had less competition, but Omaha Beach had the most. There were unusually strong Nazi soldiers there, the terrain was difficult to maneuver, and Allied men were mowed down as they arrived on the beach.

D-day Normandy invasion men running off ships storming beaches.

Overall, the Normandy invasion was a decisive Allied success, albeit it came at a heavy cost to both sides. By the first day’s midnight, all five beaches linked with the landings had been secured.

From then, the interior struggle continued. On August 25, 1944, Paris was freed, and on September 16, 1944, Allied soldiers crossed the German border.

Numerous novels and films have been written on and depicting D-Day. The Longest Day (1962), Saving Private Ryan (1998), and the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers are undoubtedly the greatest three films about D-day (2001).

Vintage paratroopers in airplane camouflage paint on faces.

I’ve had the honor of speaking with soldiers of Easy Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne, the elite paratroopers known as the Band of Brothers, in the past.

The following are a few chosen accounts from the guys who were there at the time. The guys below are all paratroopers, so keep that in mind.

McClung, Earl Earl McClung, courtesy the McClung family.

Earl McClung glanced out the open door of his C-47 aircraft as he flew over the English Channel on his approach to Normandy and saw line after line of ships below him. The sheer number of ships preparing to attack the shore astounded him.

As his aircraft approached the shore, enemy gunners on the ground started fire. There was a lot of flak.

“You didn’t pay attention to ships anymore,” McClung remarked. “All you wanted was to get off the aircraft alive.”

Perconte, Frank

Frank Perconte Illustration.

Near St. Marie du Mont, Frank Perconte landed. He couldn’t recall much about the town save that it was near a river.

 

“You have to realize, the aircraft is doing 150 miles per hour, and there are twenty soldiers in the plane,” Perconte remarked. When you landed, you were at least five miles apart from the first man off of the aircraft to the last guy who jumped. But we banded together and forged forward.”

Lowrey, Dewitt

Dewitt Lowrey, Courtesy Susan Finn Smith.

“I’ll put it this way: D-Day was a dreadful day for a lot of young guys,” Lowrey said at the outset of his interview.

Lowrey struck a tree on his way down after parachuting out of his aircraft and became caught in the branches. Two enemy machine gunners in each corner of a field fired at him while he dangled from the tree. He could see tracer rounds barreling down on him.

Lowrey recounted cutting his ammunition off his leg and letting it fall, then letting his machine gun fall, then getting free of his harness, and finally dropping to the earth.

Lowrey remarked, “When it comes to D-Day and the remainder of the war, that’s all I speak about.” “My wife was the only one I ever told about what occurred.” The only one who needed to know was her.”

Ed Joint

Ed Joint, courtesy the Joint family.

Ed Joint was startled to discover Joe Lesniewski, a buddy from Erie, PA, standing next to him on the ground when he landed. There was no one else nearby, and the area where they’d landed was very silent. They removed their chutes and set off on foot to locate the remainder of their squad.

Ed had his first taste of combat artillery early in the morning of the first day of action in Normandy.

“They were lobbing those massive shells across five, six, seven kilometers into France,” he said. I was walking across a field with three other people when something smacked me. I was knocked out. The boys mistook me for dead. ‘He’s dead, let’s get the heck out of here,’ one man adds. ‘No, I’m not going without him,’ replies another. So they paused for a while, and I awoke. It was just a minor concussion. So we continued.”

Wingett, Bill

Bill Wingett and friend, courtesy the Wingett family.

I flew to Oregon and spent the day with Bill Wingett at his home, where we discussed his experiences on D-Day and throughout the war. Bill had misplaced his firearm during the invasion of Normandy. In his own words, this is the story:

I haven’t told anybody about my first action, and I’m not sure I want to. I don’t consider it to be concealed. Killing a guy is a difficult task. It becomes easier after you’ve done it a few times and been shot at a few times.

I murdered a guy for the first time out of desperation. “Three men: out there,” someone remarked as the column in which I had fallen was proceeding along this causeway. I climbed up this hill with a few of other people, which was more like a little incline. We dived down when we noticed enemy men. Surprisingly, these three Germans approached us within fifteen feet and began setting up a machine gun.

 

I made the decision that I needed to take action. The other two men with me were armed with guns. I was hoping for a shootout. They didn’t do it.

So I used the knife I had to murder the first [enemy soldier]. I sneaked up behind him and slammed it into his kidneys. He was wielding a gun. He fell down firing as soon as I struck him, hurting one of his buddies and killing the other.

The injured German was shot in the head by one of the other soldiers with me. It had to have occurred within an hour of our jumping. That’s when I received my first firearm. It was given to me by the man who had shot the German in the head. He became ill as a result, and he tossed down his weapon. It was picked up by me.

I never found out what the names of the men I was with were. I don’t recall ever seeing them again. We then descended the slope.

Ed Pepping is a well-known sportscaster.

Ed Pepping, courtesy Ed Pepping.

Ed Pepping worked as a doctor. On the way out of the aircraft, he recalls seeing burn holes in his parachute caused by bullets passing through it.

He landed in the midst of a field, but he didn’t have enough time to draw up on his risers and reduce the shock of landing owing to his angle of descent. His helmet smacked him on the back of the head. Pepping suffered a concussion and had shattered three vertebrae, which he didn’t realize at the time. He blacked out, awoke, blacked out again, and awoke again. The blackouts persisted during his stay in Normandy.

Pepping had nothing except a knife when he arrived. He’d never carried a gun as a physician anyhow, but the speed of the leap and the first shock had torn all of his medical gear from him. Pepping was irritated since he now had nothing with which to work. “As you might guess, a lot of the wounds saw were devastating,” he stated.

Pepping’s role as a medic was to do anything he could. He was on his way to join the rest of his battalion on the first day when he was summoned to a structure that was being utilized as an aid station. The first injured soldier he saw had a massive sucking chest wound, which Pepping described as “a wound they had only warned us about but never seen personally.” “All I could do was try to seal the wound as best I could.” I couldn’t remain to see whether he’d been evacuated. I’m not sure whether the guy survived or died. That was the situation.”

Rod Bain Rod Bain, courtesy the Bain family.

Rod Bain just had a few words to say about the event. I believed one of his lines was sufficient.

“Everything is a nightmare.”

75 Years After D-Day, What Do We Remember?

75 Years After D-Day, What Do We Remember?

Marcus Brotherton contributes to the Art of Manliness on a regular basis.

Visit www.marcusbrotherton.com to read his blog, Men Who Lead Well.

 

FEAST FOR THIEVES, his first novel, will be available in bookstores in September.

All images of veterans were taken with their families’ consent.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do we get D vitamin from?

A: D vitamin is made in our bodies, but we cannot make it out of thin air. The most common sources for obtaining the vitamins are through food and supplements like multivitamins

What does vitamin D3 do?

A: Vitamin D is a hormone that regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in your body. It also aids in bone growth, immune function, cell division as well as some cognitive functions.

How much vitamin D3 should I take?

A: Vitamin D3 is an essential nutrient that plays a role in strengthening bones and teeth, as well as promoting heart health. It can be found in foods like tuna and salmon, but most of the vitamin comes from your skin when youre exposed to ultraviolet light every day. The recommended daily intake for Vitamin D stands at 600 IU per day for adults between 1-70 years old; children below the age of five are recommended to take 400IU per day.