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First Army Honors D-Day Soldiers, Including 94-Year-Old Veteran

First Army
Henry Langrehr, Clinton, Iowa World War II veteran

The Army unit that led the liberation of Europe 75 years ago has honored a soldier who was there, along with the entire group of soldiers who served on D-Day. Herb Trix has more. 

This morning, First Army commemorated the anniversary of D-Day during a professional leadership development session. 

Credit Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News
Historian Kevin Braafladt (L) and First Army's Lt. Col. Joe Odorizzi (R) in the newsroom

Command Historian, Kevin Braafladt, says most people know D-Day refers to the US invasion of Normandy, France on June 6th, 1944.

But they probably don't know First Army planned and implemented "Operation Overlord," which began about a year before D-Day, and continued until the end of World War II. 

Lieutenant Colonel Joe Odorizzi, First Army's Public Affairs Director, says a famous movie about D-Day featured a portrayal of the Clinton, Iowa soldier, Henry Langrehr, who spoke at this morning's session.

First Army planned to honor Langrehr at tonight's River Bandits game in Davenport. But it was moved to Peoria because of flooding on the  Mississippi River, and that part of First Army's D-Day commemoration will be rescheduled. 

Currently, First Army's mission is to help organize and train soldiers, and its headquarters are located on Arsenal Island.

From YouTube, here's a video about paratroopers on D'Day.

Officially, Michelle's title for 28 years was WVIK News Editor. She did everything there is to do in the newsroom and whatever was needed around the radio station. She also served as Acting News Director from September 2023 - January 2024.
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