When I write for our company’s blog, I am usually focused on marketing, brand strategy or b-to-b communications. But today I can’t help but remember what my Dad was going through 67 years ago. He was the CO of 2nd Ranger Charlie Company with 72 men under his command. They rode in towards the western flank of Omaha Beach in two LTIs in the first wave of the assault on the German fortifications. His task was to take out the guns that would be taking target practice on the soldiers landing further down the beach that morning. Despite heavy casualties, they accomplished their mission and are credited being the fist to reach high ground that morning. My Dad recalls having nine bullet holes in his gear, but not a scratch. He eventually got his Purple Heart in the Battle of the Bulge.
Charlie Company’s attack on the beach was portrayed in the movie “Saving Private Ryan.” Author Stephen Ambrose recommended that Tom Hank’s platoon be represented by Charlie Company. So in essence, Tom Hanks played my Dad. Lucky for me, the movie became fictionalized after the landing. Hank’s character Captain Miller dies in the movie. My Dad lived through the war, had a successful career in sales incentive business and will be 92 on July 4th. While he remembers less and less each passing day, he still has a strength that somehow keeps him going.
Thanks Dad, to you and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice that day 67 years ago.