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"In the foorsteps of the 82nd AB"


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As some know, last week was the "Historic Walk of the 82nd AB" in La Gleize. We went as 104th ID.

 

We had left around 8 am from our chalet in Barvaux. At about 10-15km from La Gleize fate had taken us, we have made a slip of the van.

 

We rotated 3 times until we were stuck in a pasture, the picture speaks for itself:

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A little further down there was also a car stuck and while we were standing there another car drived against to another. In short: a dangerously slippery road.

Fortunately, a comrade of mine was in La Gleize and came over to get us out of there. After a delay of 1:30 we could drive to La Gleize.

 

Around 10:30 am we arrived but could not register, since the organization was already at a checkpoint for lunch. So we took of with a map of a re-enactor who had injured himself (he slipped away and a Garand fell against his ancle).

 

We made some pictures

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We first stopped in the village Brume to eat something, Fortunately, our safety car was in the neighborhood.

Every time we saw him we were very happy that we had walked some KM.

 

In about half of the march, we have our issued haversacks to the safety car because it was too heavy to continue fully packed the tour (and no, there was no blanket in our backpacks).

Our Safety car has also ensured that we could still registered and that we still could get a certificate.

 

At 6 km from the end we came to a man with crutches who has already started around 9 am so he could arive before the evening in La Gleize. Already some Jeeps had asked him to bring him to La Gleize but Gene refused.

 

After one last stop we decided to walk again and to stay with Gene so he would certainly arrive in La Gleize. On the way he told us he was born in 1946 and already had been through 3 wars. He was with the Rangers, Special Ops and sustained some injuries trough the wars.

 

When it was already 7pm (and already dark), their came a Jeep for the last time, the Jeep would bring Gene back, but he refused again. After we had taken the last turn towards La Gleize we went back through a muddy field, Ben (one of the squad) explored the way, I shined a light for Gene so he could put his crutches and Jorrit (another member of the squad) stayed behind Gene in case he would fall. After 1000's Thank you and have walked 1km further we saw La Gleize lie. A re-enactor walked to us and walked with us to the end.

We are greeted as heroes (although we have done nothing fancy), Gene was very happy that we had arrived and has given us his address. We went also on a Photo with Gene:

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We got free drinks from the organization and we have used the opportunity to make some contacts

After having talked with some re-enactors. we decided to go to the chalet, we were all broken.

 

Kind Regards Vincent

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The Sunday we went to our adopted graves at Henri Chapelle, at the entrance, we given the info that we have found of the soldiers we have adopted. Ben has even found a picture.

The secretary was super pleased with the information found and wished us luck with our reasurch.

 

Again some pictures:

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When we headed for our cars, the secretary walked to us, she asked us whether we wanted to bring down the flag and fold it.

We where honoured

 

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Group picture, the flag is not folded perfectly, but it was our first time, we did our best

 

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David (our safety car driver) hands over the flag.

 

Kind Regards Vincent

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Great job Vincent! I appreciate your keeping the memory of the GIs alive. Furthermore, thank you for adopting the graves of those brave men who gave all of the tomorrows for our today.

Cheers,

Capa,

Fielding

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Thank you so very much for remembering my country men and you did a great job, the way you folded the colors that have drapped so many of our fallen.

 

Also so much for global warming. Its the pits to slide off of the road.

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Nice to see you in US uniforms retiring our colors for the evening. Thank you very much!

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Thank you everybody for al the kind words.

Our group (timberwolves division belgium) counts 4 members en 2unofficial members.

They all adopted a grave of the 104th ID.

We help each other to find the information, Ben (who found the picture of his grave) is going to get interviewd by a newspaper of the university where Jarrel M. Bryant went.

 

For the people that is interested, we do have a website, Its not a proffesional website, but its works: www.timberwolves-division-belgium.tk

 

 

@ WillysMB44: We where allready to late for the walk, and when we where back in La Gleize, it was to dark.

 

 

Kind regards Vincent.

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Hi Vincent,

 

What a crummy way to start the day huh! My ride had trouble getting out of Chevron on Sunday morning, the 10cm of fresh snow was too much for his ageing Volvo. No winter tires or chains.

 

Only two of our group did the March this year, that included me. We started right on time, 9:00 at the Museum. But it took us 7 hours to finish the 23km course. Heard lots of stories of broken limbs and twisted ankles. The mud, snow and ice was pretty vicious.

The rest of our guys put up an MP roadblock along the route.

 

It was the same route as in 2005, but this time I felt it was much tougher, probably because my physical condition has dropped considerably in the last 5 years.

 

I took maybe 30 pictures in total, nothing very special. At some point you go "I'd better keep walking instead of stopping to take pictures".

 

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There's still half a roll in my Kodak 35 RF that I need to finish first.

 

 

Overall, we all had a great time, eventhough it was physically exhausting. The evening at the chalet with friends, a roaring fire and plenty of drinks made it all worth while.

 

 

Lee, there should be a shot of the Tiger on the roll in my Kodak, but I also have a few from previous visits if you like ;)

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Hi Mr_Flibble

 

I know what you mean, we had the same problem when we left from Barveaux.

It was my second time that I did the tour. It was harder then the year before.

We make some picture's at the beginning, but as you said before, at some time, you just want to keep walking.

 

Kind regards Vincent.

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Thanks for not going on the Cemetery dressed in full combat gear.

At least you guys show respect for the Fallen that way.

 

Erwin

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Thanks for not going on the Cemetery dressed in full combat gear.

At least you guys show respect for the Fallen that way.

 

Erwin

Thanks Erwin,

 

Its not the place to do such a thing, thats why we only go in Class A or as civilians.

And like you see, only the Distinguished Unit Citation on the Class A, because we do not earn the right to wear other medals.

 

Kind Regards Vincent

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Nice to see the 104th Division patch on your shoulder. The 104th is now an Army Reserve division, and I was in the division from 1983 to 1985 when its headquarters was at Vancouver Barracks, Vancouver, WA.

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Nice to see the 104th Division patch on your shoulder. The 104th is now an Army Reserve division, and I was in the division from 1983 to 1985 when its headquarters was at Vancouver Barracks, Vancouver, WA.

Thank you, we only portray the 104th ID.

We are aslow still in surch for information of the 104th ID.

I still have a lot of info, but I could use a lot more.

 

Kind Regards Vincent

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Vincent,

Is this an annual event? I would like to try to come over next year if it is.

Thanks,

Capa

Yep, I heard that next year it is the 20th or 30th edition.

The walk is normally always in Februari.

The Blogspot of this year: http://82ndairbornemarch2010.blogspot.com/

The picture's shown are those of last year, the walk was around the village of Bra.

I will try to keep you posted on it.

 

Kind Regards Vincent

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Yeah, I was pretty surprised when I saw one of my own photos from the 2005 march on last year's certificate ;) I had a chat with Emile about that.....

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  • 2 weeks later...
Member_2114
Vincent,

Is this an annual event? I would like to try to come over next year if it is.

Thanks,

Capa

 

 

To the best of my Knowledge this was the 28th "In the Footsteps of the 82nd Airborne" event. They are organised by Emile Lacroix. whil;st being a keen living historian he alos is a cyclist, and normally does the route a few weeks before on a mountain bike -

 

http://82ndairbornemarch2010.blogspot.com/

 

Our group unites with other living historians for these events. they are generally hard going, but well worth it, even if it gives a tiny idea of what GI's went through day in and day out (minus bullets flying and not knowing if the next one was destined for you..)

 

I would rather do these type events than public shows...nothing much compares.

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Here are some results from my trusty Kodak 35 RF (from 1941)

 

Lens quality does not compare favorably with my other period cameras, but there you go....it's the best it could do under the circumstances with 100 ISO film ;)

 

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