Picking a photograph for today's post was very difficult for me. With yesterday being D-Day I wanted to post something World War II related. Over the last week I recorded many images that could be used for this post from five WWII veterans that marched in the Shippensburg Memorial Day parade, to the real heroes from band of brothers or the Pacific to the re-enactors portraying WWII soldiers at Reading this past week. But when it was all said and done one person came to mind, Jake "McNasty" McNiece. Jake was one of the Filthy 13 and sort of the unofficial leader. Jake wrote a book called the Filthy 13 that I purchased at last years show. It was one of the best books I have ever read and even though I met him and some of his fellow soldiers from the "13" last year this year I just had to shake his hand again and thank him. He is an amazing person, it is veterans like him that can choke a fellow up when talking to him.
For those of you that do not know, yesterday was D-Day. The largest amphibious invasion of all time, with 175,000 troops, 195,700 Allied naval and merchant navy personnel in over 5,000 ships. Some of the beach's taken by these men were Sword, Juno, Gold and Omaha beach.
Back to Jake, he was a fighter a drinker and had a total disregard for the rules, but he was a soldier. He never rose above the rank of PFC until his discharge from the Army when he obtained the rank of Sergeant. The face paint and hair cuts on the 101st Airborne on D-Day was Jake's idea. Jake completed four combat jumps in World War II including D-Day, during Operation Market Garden.
Thank You Jake and all other Veterans.