Army Capt. Robert W. Van Wey stood on hallowed ground in Normandy, France earlier this month, as he and hundreds of other American service members commemorated the 70th anniversary of the Normandy D-Day invasion in 1944, which changed the course of World War II and history.
“Honoring our history, securing our future” was the reason the American service members were there.
Van Wey is a member of B Company, 2-325 Air, 2/82 Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, and he spent approximately a week in the Normandy region, participating in ceremonies and representing the Americans who fought there 70 years ago.
"Participating in the 70th anniversary celebration in Normandy has been the experience of a lifetime. It was the multi-national cooperation that made Opperation Overlord possible, and it will be interoperabilitiy that helps keep the world from allowing the same situation to arise in the future. We have had the opportunity to work with the French, Brittish, Canadian, German, Dutch, Swiss, Italians, and many others. These relationships help shape our impression of other nation's armies and our ability to more cohesively come together for future generations," he said.
Soldiers such as Van Wey remain indebted to the veterans whose service demonstrated the selfless actions of the “Greatest Generation.”
That generation not only served to protect and defend the U.S., but were part of a global force to defend peace and strengthen ties with an emerging Alliance. The actions by all allies on D-Day continue to resonate 70 years later as U.S. forces in Europe remain steadfast in commitment to European partners and NATO Allies.
Van Wey is the son of Jeffrey G. And Sherri L. Van Wey, of Leavenworth, and his wife, Julie A Van Wey, is the daughter of John And Cheryl Kennedy, of Shawnee Mission.
He is a 2005 graduate of Leavenworth High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in 2009 from Pittsburg State University.