Veterans get the shaft again: France breaks promise to fund D-Day travel

France won't fund the flight for 400 D-Day vets, including John Tulli (Photo: Steve White/NY Post)

Next month is the 70th anniversary of the greatest invasion in the history of military operations, Operation Overlord, D-Day, 6 June 1944. The Allied forces under command of General Dwight D. Eisenhower launched the endeavor to liberate the continent of Europe from the stranglehold of the Nazi Germany: De Opresso Libre, the motto of the U.S. Special Forces today. The United States, along with British, French, and Canadian forces hit the stormy beaches of Normandy at places now known as Juno, Sword, Utah and Omaha.

I had the honor of serving in the 4th Infantry Division which landed at Utah beach and the 1st Infantry Division who, along with the 29th Infantry Division landed at Omaha beach. The evening prior, American paratroopers of the 82d Airborne Division (All American) and the 101st Airborne Division (Screaming Eagles) jumped in behind the beachhead to secure key lines of communications and silence German 88mm guns.

And who can ever forget the “Boys of Point du Hoc” — the 2d Ranger Battalion who scaled those heights to suppress German gun emplacements.

It was heroic and monumental, and this year the West family will head back to Ft. Riley Kansas for the 16th Infantry Regiment dinner, where we shall commemorate this great day.

In France this year, President Obama and French President François Hollande will preside over the anniversary and the presentation of Legion of Honor medals, France’s highest honor to American veterans. However, France has broken its promise to pay for the vets to fly to this year’s commemoration according to the New York Post.

Sadly, the French have recently agreed to sell new naval warships to Russia, but they can’t cough up the change to host the veterans, now in their 90s, who saved them.

“France was supposed to pay for our airfare, hotel and transportation,” said Theresa Tarangelo, whose father, Felice John Tulli, fought in the offensive. “Now they’re telling us they have nothing to do with it . . . It’s really frustrating.”

Army Master Sgt. Manuel Perez, a coordinator of the event and a liaison between veterans’ families and the French government said “it was common knowledge” that France was footing the bill for airfare — as much as $7,000 for two people — especially since it sponsored the trips of American vets 10 years ago for the 60th anniversary.

Some people reading this might ask, “What difference at this point does it make?” It makes a huge difference to those of us who had a father or grandfather who served in World War II — especially if they exited an aircraft, scaled the cliffs, or landed on the beaches of Normandy.

One of those is Tarangelo’s father, now 90, who was only 18 when he landed at Omaha Beach with the 29th Army Infantry Division’s 116th Battalion.

“The 115th, they’re the ones who made the actual June 6th invasion. We got in there a day or two after that. They mopped up, but we saw a lot of action,” Tulli said.

From the beach, his battalion advanced southwest 26 miles through hedgerows and Panzer tank divisions. “When we were going to Saint-Lô, the Nazis had a sniper — one or two — terrorizing us the whole way,” he said. “Anybody that tells you they weren’t scared, they’re lying.”

“They told us he would receive the French Legion of Honor medal from President Obama and the French president, that he and a guest could go and that airfare, hotel and other travel would be included,” Tarangelo recalled. France will pay for lodging and travel within the country, the embassy confirmed. Tulli realizes this might be his last chance to honor his fallen brothers. So his daughter is organizing a Memorial Day baseball betting pool to help pay for it.

President Obama and President Hollande are both socialists who believe in “fair share” economics. Felice John Tulli represents a generation of men and women who gave more than their “fair share” for the liberty and freedom that Obama and Hollande enjoy. Not sure why the U.S. can’t step in and foot the bill.

Just add this to the ever-growing list of the despicable manner in which we are treating our veterans.


    • Could it possibly be due to the love the French have for Obama and they are getting back at him by doing this? My guess is YES! They HATE Obama! Almost as much as we and the rest of the world do!

  1. Someone needs to remind the French the reason the Boulevards of Paris are lined with trees was because the Germans liked marching in the shade.

  2. Time has a sad way of deteriorating history to the point of faded memories, even though there are many graves and monuments all over Normandy and France the youth are seeing less and less of the men and women who answered the call those many years ago, now it is just a bunch of stories of a time they weren’t involed with, their grandparents and parents who lived it are fading away just as the soldgers who came to resue them. as history has shown time and time again, it will repeat itself one day because we have forgotten the evil, and the good the WWII. in the near future there will be a generation that will erect monuments and hold value to the Men and women who had to step up and once again fight for freedom it what they call WWIII. My heart hurts for that, my uncle was a fighter pilot and a German POW, my dad was a Korean Vet, my kids are Iraq and Afghanistan Vets. history does repeat itself!

    • …and some kids are not being taught much history. We can keep even the distant past alive and real through quality history learning!

  3. Ah, yes! But, never fear — the Americans are footing the bill for our Fearless Leader to take center stage and make another glorious speech! So what that the heroes are overlooked. Our glorious one will be there.

  4. The germans took over France in 3 yes 3 days. That should let you know what cowards they are!! Could you imagine another country coming to the US and trying to take over? Every redneck (me included) and brother would be picking them off for the next few decades. Down to the last man, woman and child! That’s how we roll! Not sissies like the French!

    • You are forgetting about the brave French men and women in the resistance, please don’t stereotype all French.

      • yes. Some in France’s government (thinking VICHY especially) caved to the Germans. But some of the regular people did wonderful Resistance work…

        Hmmm…leadership clueless…but some of the regular people doing the right thing….Sounds familiar!

      • People should find the 1960s film “The Longest Day” about DDAY and the preparations for its success. Several accounts in that movie (said to be based on history) of what the French resistance did to help the other allies…

      • You mean the cowards that ran to England? IF they were brave they would have stayed and fought!!

    • It wasn’t three days.
      It was over a month… starting on May 10th 1960 and ending June 16th and the Germans invaded with over 100 divisions, over three million troops.
      You and your friends with rifles in 1940 would not be slowing down German armored divisions.

      And as to partisan and resistance fighting against a German occupation… the Germans in1940 had very different rules of engagement for dealing with resistance than we do now.
      They killed or imprisoned entire male populations in areas where there was resistance.

      • 3 days is when the french started to run. Check your facts on wikipedia. The french had more men, more artillery . the germs were mostly on horseback. Typical frenchman’s revitionist history! You are cowardly turds!!

  5. No doubt France has seen it’s way clear to RENEG in this fashion due to the Unamerican WH Occupant devaluing the D-Day memorial on June 6th each year by not travelling to France to honor the greatest generation

    the first *potus* to flip the bird to the greatest generation in this DISGRACEFUL fashion

    C’mon Benghazi TRUTH! – SET AMERICA FREE from the scourge in the WH!

  6. BOYCOTT ALL French products! Wait they don’t have any! That wine is made from California grape seeds. ALL their wine producing was burned out by the germans.

  7. Couldn’t the Obamas cancell one small vacation and pay for this? Oh I forgot he don’t like vets, they are to selfish to pay for their own health insurance.

  8. Well this explains ALOT! My 91 year old father who landed on Omaha Beach got a phone call from his congressman weeks ago inviting him to an all expense paid trip to France to commemorate the D day invasion. My dad was sooo excited! I called the congressmans office about two weeks later to get more info and they were very evasive and never got back to us. As Paul Harvey would say, ” Now you know the rest of the story”.

    • Don’t forget to vote in November so we can get rid of idiots like Reid and Pelosi. As for Obama, he should have never made it to President and that’s what happens when you don’t Vet the guy running. Those who voted for him were duped, the others were in on it.

  9. Figures. These socialists don’t want to pay for American freedom fighters. Honestly them not paying for these great men might be a blessing. Our fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers stormed their beaches to liberate them from socialist invaders. 70 years later they themselves have become what these veterans set out to fight. They want our Vets to pay so they can have a photo shoot, so they can try to convince the low informed masses that they really do care about those who paid the blood price for our great country. Our government funds Muslim Extremists but we can’t buy a plane ticket for the greatest generation America has ever seen. They tax their own people 75% yet they can’t reward the men and women who liberated their country. I guess you can’t look to a country for honor when their parents and grandparents got blitzkrieged and surrendered without a fight. Just like 70 years ago, the French people have surrendered to socialism without even lifting a finger.

  10. One of the nation that borrowed money from America that never paid their debt back (unless of course you count the Statue of Liberty which was suppose to be a gift) as partial payment and the First country that we liberated from the Nazi’s will not sponsor the 70th anniversary of D-Day???

  11. Not to excuse this behavior but are there not c5 pilots that need flight hours. Lets see them turn them down to there face. Lets get that Master Sergeant on the horn…

  12. In Belgium, we visited a cemetery devoted to Allied soldiers of WWII. We were told that the local community has annual ceremonies in which schoolchildren commemorate those deaths with love and respect. Sometimes, as we have seen, governments to not well represent their people.

    • I know that the French REsistance did some great work.

      As I noted elsewhere…some of the WW2 French leadership was clueless (Vichy notably…) but some of the REGULAR people were doing the right thing.

      (I think the US has a roughly similar problem NOW. Mostly clueless leadership (some from both parties also)…but a number of regular people who try to do the right thing.

      • My grand father was on french resistance in britany and me i am a french ww2 US military vehicles collector . I will be in normandy with my M18 hellcat tank and will take part on the differents events to honor the veterans and make the french new generation to NOT forget this part of our history and i feel really ashamed when i read that our gouvernement prefer spend money on big dinners ect … than paying a flying ticket for those mens who risked their lifes for us . i am ashamed on the FRANCE of today , not the France of 1944 because my grand father for me was an heroe also 😉

  13. Important to remember the past…France has many less vets to pay for this time due to…death and health issues. So sad that they promised…and then reneged!


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