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Return To D-Day: Sgt. Maj. Robert Blatnik

Return To D-Day: Sgt. Maj. Robert Blatnik


. TODAY MARKS 74 YEARS SINCE THE D-DAY INVASION. AND ALSO MARKS AN OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT WITH AN OLD FRIEND WHO LANDED ON OMAHA BEACH AT 6:30 A.M., THIS DAY IN 1944. I WISH I COULD KEEP GOING BACK EVERY YEAR BECAUSE I LOVE THAT HALLOWED GROUND. I WANT TO GET DOWN THERE AND TALK TO THOSE GUYS. SERGEANT MAJOR PART OF THE BIG RED ONE ABLE TO GO BACK TO OMAHA BEACH BUT IT WAS 2013. WE WERE THERE WITH HIM AND WHAT HAPPENED ON THAT VISIT IS AS EMOTIONAL AND POWERFUL TODAY AS IT WAS THEN. HE HASN’T TOUCHED THE SAND IN 69 YEARS. THIS IS THE MOST I HAVE WALKED IN YEARS. I JUST CAN’T STOP. I’VE GOT TO GET THERE AND SEE WHERE THE GUYS WENT UP. Reporter: AT THE AGE OF 93, AFTER WALKING OVER A QUARTER- MILE IN THE SAND HIS ARRIVAL ON THIS STRETCH OF OMAHA BEACH IS A MOMENT THAT BRINGS HIM TO HIS KNEES. OH DEAR FATHER THANK YOU FOR SAVING ME. AND THESE MEN THAT GAVE UP THE LIE FOR US OH THANK YOU DEAR LORD FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE FOR US. MAY ALL THE SOLDIERS REST IN PEACE I KNOW YOU ARE TAKING GOOD CARE OF THEM. HE CAME TO SEE THE EXACT SPOT WHERE HE LANDED JUNE 6, 1944 AND WATCHED OVER HALF HIS MEN DIE. WHEN WE LANDED WE HAD 901 MEN. WE FINALLY GOT ACCOUNT THE NEXT MINUTE I THINK WE HAD 387. THAT WAS TERRIBLE. Reporter: HE WAS AND FOREVER WILL BE PART OF THE ARMY’S FIRST DIVISION, THE BIG RED ONE. BACK ON OMAHA THE SAME SECTOR HE CAME ASHORE CALLED FOX READ ONE. ‘s RECOLLECTION IS VERY CLEAR . Reporter: THAT SOUND OVER AND OVER? CONSTANT. CONSTANT. Reporter: HE REMEMBERS CRAWLING THROUGH THE SAND BUT NEVER STOPPING. LET’S DIG IN SERGEANT SAYS WE’VE GOT TO GET UP OFF OF HERE OR DIG YOUR GRAVE. THAT IS THE ONLY WAY WE WILL SURVIVE. Reporter: SERGEANT MAJOR HAD A GOOD TEACHER WHO SERVED IN TWO INVASION CAMPAIGNS PRIOR TO D-DAY WITH A DECORATED SOLDIER WHO CHOSE HIM AS HIS RIGHT-HAND MAN, TEDDY ROOSEVELT JR.. WHOSE GRAVESITE IS NEARBY AT THE AMERICAN CEMETERY. A MIRACLE TO COME BACK HERE. I WOULD NEVER THOUGHT, NEVER DREAMT I COULD COME BACK HERE. Reporter: THIS IS OMAHA BEACH AT LOW TIDE, RELATIVELY THE SAME CONDITIONS THEY HAD BACK IN 1944. HE HAD TO MAKE THE RUN FROM OUT THERE ALL THE WAY UP HERE, HIS FIRST POINT OF COVER THE CLIFF LINE ALONG THE BEACH. HERE WE ARE 69 YEARS LATER AND HE HAS NO IDEA WHY HE SURVIVED AND OTHER STUDENTS. THANK YOU TO THE MEN WHO SACRIFICED YOUR LIFE FOR ME. I WISH I HAD TAKEN MY LIFE INSTEAD OF YOURS THAT YOU COULD HAVE SURVIVED INSTEAD OF ME. Reporter: HIS RETURN INCLUDED MANY HEARTFELT MOMENTS NUMBER FROM THANKS OF LOCAL SCHOOLCHILDREN A NEW WELL THE STORY OF HIS MEN AND FIGHT FOR LIBERATION TO THE QUIET SALUTES, TO THOSE WHO DIDN’T RETURN. IT HAS ALLOWED HIM TO SAY GOODBYE TO FRIENDS. IT ALLOWED HIM TO MAKE PEACE. WAS IT WORTH IT? IT WAS WORTH IT NOW WE HAVE PEACE AND DEMOCRACY RESTORED. I THINK IT WAS WORTH IT. Reporter: AN ENCORE PERFORMANCE OF THE STORY THAT ERRED IN 2013. I VISITED THE MAJOR’S HOUSE TODAY 98 YEARS OLD, STILL VOLUNTEERS TWO DAYS A WEEK AT THE VA. HE WILL BE THERE THIS COMING FRIDAY. IN TOTAL HE IS GIVEN OVER 9000 VOLUNTEER HOURS TO THE VA ALONE. WHEN YOU LOOK AT WHERE HE WAS AND WHERE HE IS TODAY THAT IS WITHOUT QUESTION A LIFE WELL LIVED. POWERFUL STORY. IT LOOKS LIKE HE IS A GUY THAT NEVER MEETS A STRANGER. HE IS A WONDERFUL MAN, A LOVING MAN, A KIND MAN AND A GIVING MAN ALL HE IS EVER WANTED TO DO AFTER GOD GRACED HIM AND GOT HIM OFF THAT BEACH IN OMAHA. WHAT WAS IT LIKE FOR YOU TO STAND THERE AS WELL? I’VE SAID THIS FROM 2013 FORWARD WHEN I WENT WITH NORTH TEXAS THE DAY HE ROSE TO HEAR THE SPOKEN WORD OF THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO WERE IN THE FIGHT OF THE PEOPLE WHO WERE THERE THAT DAY. THAT IS A PIECE OF HISTORY THAT WILL NEVER FEEL THE SAME. ANY OPPORTUNITY YOU GET TO GET


Reader Comments

  1. Just can’t let shit be or go. We’ve moved on so should the rest of the U.S this is irrelevant to current day wars that’s impacting real people that’s still young.

  2. dont wanna make this all about religion but how in the fuck could you have gone through what this guy did and still believe in a god?

  3. Damn you! This hellhole of a modern world is due to this zog puppet and all those like him!
    I SALUTE THE BRAVE MEN OF THE SS! LIED ABOUT AND DEFAMED BY THE ENEMIES OF ALL LIFE!

  4. Making jokes about these things cheers the mood up a bit, but to just say bad things about the people that gave their lives to make sure we’re still here today. If we lost WW2 we could of never been born. You all should be more grateful to these people

  5. I remember some bitch making a post saying people part of the LGBT community are more important and brave than those who served at war and I wanted to kill someone at that point

  6. I just want to thank all the soldiers from every country who went to war with protecting their country in mind and not for the leaders.

  7. I just wanna hang out with this man and get to know him he seems just so positive and so excited to go back ik personally I wouldn't have wanted to go back to a beach where I saw the things he did

  8. My friend went back to Omaha beach with a group that had been there that day and died from a heart attack on the beach. RIP Paul Koebler.

  9. Just think he looks old and frail but think this guy was dropping bodies in Normandy when your grandparents were in diapers

  10. I’m trying to join the marines but currently work a 9 to 5 and don’t do shit for the country! In my eyes this mans a hero!

  11. My great grandfather was an army veteran he powered through the war and served our country with pride until the day he died a couple months ago at the age of 96 every day I say a prayer saying my thanks to him and all he did for us 😔 but I am proud

  12. Ey whats the sensitivity of his aim? and whats the style of his controller? wow his such a pro player

    HE JUST DID 1 v Squad? WOW

  13. 1:07 "Why are we still here? Just to suffer? Every night, I can feel my leg… and my arm… even my fingers. The body I’ve lost… the comrades I’ve lost… won’t stop hurting… It’s like they’re all still there. You feel it, too, don’t you?"

  14. My great grandfather was on that beach during the first wave. He at one point climbed over the trench, killed a German officer and stole his Luger, Shoulder accolade (eagle with Nazi symbol) and a German Shepard. My grandfather still has them

  15. He is a good man,but Amerika is evil country,greedy for war ofc for money,no mather how many inocent people die.

  16. I fill a bit said rest in peace to all them who lost their lives to free us from the Germans taking over the world

  17. Watching Band of Brothers again and it's just … one of the things from episode 1 that really struck me the most is that when Japan attacked the US, the mood in the country was very vindictive, to such an extent that men were volunteering left and right and there were even a few suicides for people who were denied the option to go that desperately wanted to. They killed themselves because they couldn't serve. "It was a different time" one of the older men says who is being interviewed before the episode begins.

  18. The men who took part in this invasion that is still to this day one of the most masterful invasions mounted by any coalition ever, they're nothing short of heroes.

  19. And today you have Nazi in a rise again walking not just in the streets of Europe, but allowing them to be our officials, maires police officers lawmakers, judges, and President. What a shame. This’s insulting thousands of those brave Americans who gave their lives for our freedom, and the restoration of human dignity. It’s a shame to have a chicken Nazi, and a draft dodger as president.

  20. I don’t care what conflicts are going on today. WW1 and WW2 are the most horrific Wars we have ever endured as a species. Post societal influence. Whenever I visit the cemetery for my Nanna’s grave (RIP 😔) I always find myself paying my respects to the fallen soldiers of WW1 & 2 also.

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