Making a Remarkable Journey Back
The Best Defense Foundation recently took several American WWII veterans back to Normandy this summer where they had served 74 years ago. The visit included tours of the memorials, meeting with locals, sharing stories, and remembering those that did not make the journey back home during the conflict.
The organization, founded by former NFL Pro-Bowler Donnie Edwards, has a mission of “creating a community of mentors and friends as our veterans transition to civilian life.” The foundation is engaged in a number of activities to support veterans and their families including arranging trips for our vets to visit the battlefields of their pasts.
Their motto is simple and yet profound: Take Care of the Ones Who Took Care of Us.
Edwards has spent the last 22 years supporting American military families and was selected as the Los Angeles Chargers 2017 Salute to Service Recipient for his efforts. He is supported by a dedicated staff of individuals focused on achieving the foundations mission.
Edwards’ Grandfather, Sgt. Max Razo, survived Pearl Harbor and was Edwards’ inspiration in serving vets and starting the Best Defense Foundation.
The foundation has supported many other trips, community outreach, veterans transition programs, and more.
We are proud to share a video from the Best Defense Foundation that was made during their recent trip to the beaches and hedgerows of Normandy.
Heroes Return To Normandy: Video HighlightJune 1, 2018 the Best Defense Foundation took 8 WWII Veterans back to Normandy where they fought. Dick Klein – 101st Airborne DivisionFrancis Turner – 17th Armored Engineer Battalion of the 2nd Armored DivisionGeorge Ciampa – 607th Quartermaster Graves Registration CompanyJack Myers – 692nd Tank Destroyer BattalionJack Foy – 347th Infantry Regiment, 87th DivisionBoris Stern – 424th Infantry Regiment, 106th DivisionGeorge Smilanich – 67th Armored Regiment, 2nd Armored DivisionClinton Riddle – 325 Glider Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne DivisionWhile in Normandy, we visited the Brittany American Cemetery. It was a solemn time for all of us as we looked out at the sea of white crosses that represented so many heroes who lost their lives way too young. While we all stood in silence, Jack Foy began to speak. His words left us all speechless and so proud to be American. Watch the video to hear it!Please enjoy watching their marvelous return back to France."Taking care of the ones who took care of us"Thank you to the Veterans Military Programs at American Airlines and Jim Palmersheim for helping our WWII veterans return to Normandy for the 74th commemoration of D-Day!#wwii #dday #veterans #bestdefensefoundation#nineteen44 #normandy #normandie #seeyouonthebeach #june6 #battleofthebulge #tankdestroyers #worldwartwo #airborne #goldenlions
Posted by Best Defense Foundation on Tuesday, August 7, 2018
As the editor of War History Online, a fellow San Diegan, and a life-long fan of the Kansas City Chiefs (where Mr. Edwards spent much of his career), the Best Defense Foundation has a special connection for me personally. I encourage our readers to consider supporting such a great organization that is recognizing our veterans, helping to preserve our history, and creating programs to “take care of these who took care of us”.
Please visit their website and FaceBook page to see how you can help support them too.