WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) A Texoma veteran is now home after making the trip to Normandy for the 75th anniversary of D-Day with his brother and best friend.
James Pippen, a retired Army Master Sergeant General, comes from a family of people who served in the military from his father who was a two time Vietnam veteran to the person he was named after.
“I had a great uncle he was actually my namesake, James H McElroy, on my mom’s side he was killed in Belgium over the Ardennes,” Pippen said.
He, along with his brother, Brad Pippen, and best friend, Dennis Bergmann, were supposed to participate in a reenactment but they were not able to.
“Looking back on it I think it was a good thing because we got to tour more of the battlefield and the hallowed ground that is the Normandy beaches,” Pippen said.
And during their time in France, they were able to meet so many other people who were visting France to honor those who gave their lives.
“We visited with a group of brothers that were traveling the battlefields of D-Day on United States Army Harley Davidson motorcycles they all had a picture of a gentleman that was this big there were about six guys in the group,” Pippen said. “They were spreading their fathers ashes at various points of the battlefields of France.”
Having the opportunity to go to Normandy to see those battlefields and meet some of the veterans meant so much to Pippen.
“Everyone of them had a story. None of them bragged,” Pippen said. “They were very humble, but if you asked them a question they were quick to tell you the stories. We listened to half a dozen or better of those stories all I can say about those stories is wow. Those veterans are in fact our greatest generation and they certainly secured freedom for Europe and I would say they secured freedom for us.”