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Tom Rice: An American Hero

Posted by Greenwald and Gerke on July 11, 2019
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We previously shared the story of Tom Rice, a 94-year-old San Diego veteran who honored the 75th anniversary of D-Day by parachuting over Normandy. His first jump happened on the fateful day in World War II when he was a member of the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army. Tom, and many other soldiers and paratroopers fought for freedom that day so many years ago. We thank them for the sacrifices and service that they’ve offered to our country.

D-Day: Stories of the War

Tom shared stories about the strategy that was used in the aircraft to ensure that the men and supplies were delivered to the war zone. They practiced loading and unloading the aircraft, as well as many other training drills that went on for six months before D-Day happened on June 6, 1944.

On D-Day, it was a somber, sober feeling as they prepared to execute their plan. They flew with 45 aircraft with the plan to jump on drop zone B. Surprisingly, the plan was mislabeled, and they were unsure where they should drop. Many men ended up in different areas that didn’t match the original strategy, but they adapted to continue moving the plan forward. Those men fought for freedom, and D-Day is now recognized as the turning point of the war.

Returning to the United States After the War

Tom returned to the United States on December 23 that year. He’s maintained detailed records and documents of the experience. He’s written a book to commemorate the men who didn’t make it back from the war.

At that point, when he came home from the war, he was ready to be done with the army and wanted to attend college. Tom taught for 44 years in the Sweetwater School District and San Diego school district as well. He coached track for 25 years.

Our team at Greenwald & Gerke Realtors would like to offer a heartfelt thank you to Tom Rice for the stories he shared in this wonderful interview. We are grateful to him and the many other veterans that have worked to protect our freedoms. At Greenwald & Gerke Realtors, we are working to support the community and offer quality real estate services for retirement. Call to learn more: (844) 782-9674