Patterico's Pontifications


WWII Vet Goes AWOL From Nursing Home to Attend D-Day Celebrations in Normandy

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:20 pm

After posting a story showing the depravity humans can display, I think it’s only fitting to round out D-Day with an inspiring story about one of the veterans from that day.

An 89-year-old Second World War veteran told he could not attend today’s D-Day events in France went AWOL from his care home and was found 12 hours later in Normandy with comrades police have confirmed.

The unnamed veteran decided to disregard his carers’ orders, put on his medals under his raincoat and set off to join events on the beaches of Northern France for the 70th anniversary of the landings.

Good for him!

Bernard Jordan, 89, left the home in Hove unannounced at 10:30 BST on Thursday and was reported missing to Sussex Police that evening.

Staff later discovered he had joined other veterans in France.

The former Royal Navy officer said he hoped his trip would not land him in trouble.

On Friday evening, it was confirmed Mr Jordan was on an overnight ferry and had been given a cabin, meals and a transfer back to his nursing home.

Prior to embarking, Mr Jordan told ITV News: “I have been here last year and I have been here obviously this time… but if I am still about I shall try next year’s as well.”

Asked if he would be in trouble when he returned home, he added: “I might be, but I hope not.”

Courtesy of the BBC comes this excellent photo of the guy on the ferry:

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 9.17.59 PM

I love this story more than words can say.

UPDATE: Courtesy of Allahpundit at Hot Air comes this video of President Reagan’s remarks at Pointe du Hoc on June 6, 1984:

Wonderful stuff.

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 9.32.47 PM
Above: These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc

34 Responses to “WWII Vet Goes AWOL From Nursing Home to Attend D-Day Celebrations in Normandy”

  1. And with that, I am done posting for the day. Sorry for the flurry of Friday night posts!

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. this was indeed a happy ending but rest assured the nursing home was willing to trade five terrorists for his safe return

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  3. Brings tears to my eyes. What a story.

    The Emperor (03864d)

  4. here’s a then and now picture of Mr. Jordan

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  5. i want his hair when I’m 89

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  6. omg with the creepy phallic symbol Mr. P

    where’s John Ashcroft and his curtain when you need him

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  7. Which reminded me of this o/t bon mot from Ronnie.

    The former president was telling a group once about his tumultuous days as governor of California during the rebellious sixties and early 70s. He said he had a meeting with some of the organizers of the protests. They came into his office wearing t-shirts and jeans, and some were barefoot.

    Their spokesman began, “Governor, it’s impossible for your generation to understand us…. You didn’t grow up in a world of instant electronic communications, of cybernetics, of men computing in seconds what once took months, even years, or jet travel, nuclear power, and journeys into space….”

    When the young man finished, Reagan said, “You’re absolutely right. Our generation didn’t have those things when we were growing up. We invented them.”

    Gazzer (c3e343)

  8. From happyfeet’s linked pictures we see Mr Jordan has that thing going where old people’s ears are way bigger than when they were young. Can you even imagine what President Obama’s ears are going to look like when he’s 88?

    elissa (a669d5)

  9. Feel-good story of the day. I’m sure there’s some bean counter back home who is just terribly up set about this and I just do not care about that bean counter’s totals.

    htom (412a17)

  10. Mr. Jordan put one over on a lot of people and has hopefully reminded a younger generation of Britons of what their grand-parents were up to during the early 1940s and from what they were made.

    Methinks that next year his care home will make damn sure to pencil in his reservation. Hell, after that if I were PM I’d bring him over myself.

    Captain Ned (ff2d65)

  11. He seems to be more alive than the majority of people I see every time I drive into LA from out here in South Western San Bernardino County. He’s happy. He’s obviously having the time of his life. And I hear his town has renewed is celebration of him as a WW-II hero. And anybody who landed in France on D-Day is a hero beyond my meager comprehension. God has blessed him. And I hope God continues to bless him in this life and the next.


    JDow (c4e4c5)

  12. I imagine a guy in a British nursing home would have any number of reasons to run off to France in June. Chicago is nice this time of the year, too.

    nk (dbc370)

  13. Obama commemorates the 70th anniversary of D-Day by releasing 5 of the most dangerous terrorists in US custody in exchange for Berghdal, which was a decision Obama made in the face of direct opposition from his military advisers. The Taliban got the equivalent of 5 four-star generals and we got a single deserter who may well have collaborated with the enemy.

    [For some historical perspective: back during the War Against Southern Independence Union General John Dix and Confederate General D H Hill met on July 22, 1862 at Hexall’s Landing on the James River and agreed on a formula for prisoner exchanges, which was based on an older formula used by the British and Americans during the War of 1812: men of equal rank could be exchanged one for one, a sergeant could be exchanged for 2 privates, a colonel for 15 privates, and a general could be exchanged for 60 privates. The Taliban got 5 top leaders and we got a sharp stick in the eye.]

    But what did the Haqqani Network get? It’s important to note Bergdahl was held not by the Taliban but by HN. Although HN is closely allied with the Taliban and shares many of the same ideological goals like establishing an Islamic nation under sharia law and eradicating Western influence, HN differs from the Taliban in their unique asymmetric methods of fighting against the US and against the Karzai government. One of their specialties is kidnapping and ransom demands.

    The HN is led by a father and son team (Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani and his son Sirajuddin Haqqani) and is based in Waziristan but operates all along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and evolved with CIA backing during the USSR invasion of Afghanistan. HN and the Taliban were closely aligned following the USSR’s withdrawal and cooperated to protect Osama bin Laden’s development al Qaeda and plan his attack on 9/11.

    We know the Taliban got the whole candy store in exchange for a worthless deserter (and possible turncoat) but now speculation has begun to center on just what compensation HN got, and neither the Administration’s stony silence or Susan Rice’s tired denials are going to be enough to keep the ugly truth from the light of day. Expect the topic to be raised on the Sunday political chat shows.

    ropelight (1977a1)

  14. What if a Haqqani girl married into the Taliban and Bergdahl was part of the dowry? Hmm? Hmm? It’s possible.

    nk (dbc370)

  15. ==but now speculation has begun to center on just what compensation HN got, and neither the Administration’s stony silence or Susan Rice’s tired denials are going to be enough to keep the ugly truth from the light of day.==

    If such “compensation” occurred for Bergdahl, which indeed seems to be getting increasing coverage, I have a question:

    If such a payment were made, who at what level has to authorize it– and who signs the check or the transfer of funds authorization slip? FOIA?

    elissa (a22ccd)

  16. Now there’s the kind of “deserter” it might be worth trading top Taliban for.

    Peter (1d4db1)

  17. #15, elissa, Obama is the only US based operative who could authorize a direct cash payment, but you can bet your bippy some convenient fall-guy (fall-girl?) will be left holding the bag and twisting in the wind. If, that is, Obama hasn’t already been busy dragging red herrings across his tracks and a up some arranging for some “altruistic” oil rich sheikh as a patsy to take the heat for Team Muhammad.

    ropelight (1977a1)

  18. I think most people miss the point here. Mr. Jordan was the customer in the nursing home. The people there (in a service profession) were serving him, not the other way around. Just why in the Hell dose anyone think the institution had any right to prohibit his freedom of movement? Slavery to the government? I realize that this is the UK, but make no mistake about it, we are UK-Lite.

    T (fabff1)

  19. Greetings:

    Like I kept telling my favorite Platoon Sergeant, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going, and the smart are already gone.

    11B40 (844d04)

  20. The best comment I read about Mr. Jordan’s caper: “The Nazi bastards couldn’t stop him. The nursing home staff didn’t have a chance.”

    Zoltan (76d6b5)

  21. 19,21. Sure, he could go. Would they need to allow him to come back?

    nk (dbc370)

  22. T @19, the UK press is reporting that the nursing home is claiming that they didn’t actually tell him he couldn’t go. They’re claiming they just couldn’t get him on the “accredited” trip with the British Royal Legion. But that he’s free to come and go as he pleases.

    I’m sure you’ll notice I have my doubts about the nursing home’s story. Do they always report people who are free to come and go as they please to the police as missing persons?

    I doubt they told him he could go on his own if he wanted after they couldn’t get him on the “accredited” trip that no doubt comes with minders for people who they clearly think need someone to take care of them. Bernard Jordan proved them wrong, and I sense more than a little embarrassment on the nursing home’s part.

    Little do they realize that it was a lot easier for him to make this trip at 89 than it was the first time when he was 19.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  23. Steve57–I think that people who are residents in an assisted living apartment and are physically able to “come and go” (as he clearly was) would still be reported as missing if they did not return back at night. I would hope that the staff would do that.

    elissa (519368)

  24. ropelight (1977a1) — 6/7/2014 @ 5:36 am

    but now speculation has begun to center on just what compensation HN got, and neither the Administration’s stony silence or Susan Rice’s tired denials are going to be enough to keep the ugly truth from the light of day. Expect the topic to be raised on the Sunday political chat shows.

    Supposedly, that’s why they had to do it in secret, and not inform anybody in Congress more than 15 minutes before the public announcement, except for Harry Reid. Supposedly they were worried that the Haqqani network would kill Bergdahl when they found out the taliban were going to release him and they would get nothing.

    In reality, the Taliban and the Haqqani network are really the ame organization and both are controlled by the ISI. Anybody who tries to act independent, they tell some lies to the Unioted States to get him killed with a drone strike.

    Sammy Finkelman (8ab807)

  25. It’s a bit more complicated than that;

    Haquanni’s in for himself, the boys of Aapbara, use his people, they get a headsup and some money,

    narciso (3fec35)

  26. It may be more complicated, but that’s not what the page you link shows. There’s nothing there about Haqqani in it for himelf, but rather that “the Haqqani network is also believed to be a strategic asset of the Pakistani government”

    And who is Aapbara?

    Sammy Finkelman (8ab807)

  27. It’s the nickname for the ISI, based on the district of Islamabad where they are based, learned it from Ignatius.

    narciso (3fec35)

  28. Who gets the money? The people in the ISI?

    Sammy Finkelman (8ab807)

  29. they mostly self finance, but the ISI provides protection,

    narciso (3fec35)

  30. elissa @24, he moved into the home in January to be with his wife when she, not he, required the round the clock assistance. And from the timeline it appears the home called the police as soon as they discovered he was missing.

    I have to admit that I don’t know the rules in Britain, but in the US you have to wait a certain number of hours (usually 24) before the police will even take a missing person report on anybody presumed to be a responsible adult. But they will take the report if person isn’t considered responsible.

    It seems to be a hazard of the job, but nursing home staff members often come to look at their residents as if they’ve regressed back into childhood. And they treat residents as if they’re children.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  31. 30. narciso (3fec35) — 6/7/2014 @ 9:08 pm

    they mostly self finance,

    That’s the general policy with state sponsers of terrorism. They don’t want to spend a lot of money. Maybe it’s because it would show up in a budget, and other people wold know, or something like that?

    but the ISI provides protection,

    In 26. who gets the heads up and sme money? Heads up about what? Drone strikes coming? The ISI probably even orovides the information that results in a drone strike in the frst place. They may be limited only by what the U.S. will swallow.

    Sammy Finkelman (8ab807)

  32. I feel honor bound to contribute to the D-Day threads. It’s not like I don’t honor the sacrifice. Just that others like it shouldn’t be forgotten, either.

    This will do.

    …On this two-division front landing, only six rifle companies were relatively effective as units. They did better than others mainly because they had the luck to touch down on a less deadly section of the beach. Three times that number were shattered or foundered before they could start to fight.

    …Already the sea runs red. Even among some of the lightly wounded who jumped into shallow water the hits prove fatal. Knocked down by a bullet in the arm or weakened by fear and shock, they are unable to rise again and are drowned by the onrushing tide. Other wounded men drag themselves ashore and, on finding the sands, lie quiet from total exhaustion, only to be overtaken and killed by the water. A few move safely through the bullet swarm to the beach, then find that they cannot hold there. They return to the water to use it for body cover. Faces turned upward, so that their nostrils are out of water, they creep toward the land at the same rate as the tide. That is how most of the survivors make it. The less rugged or less clever seek the cover of enemy obstacles moored along the upper half of the beach and are knocked off by machine-gun fire.

    Within seven minutes after the ramps drop, Able Company is inert and leaderless. At Boat No. 2, Lieutenant Tidrick takes a bullet through the throat as he jumps from the ramp into the water. He staggers onto the sand and flops down ten feet from Private First Class Leo J. Nash. Nash sees the blood spurting and hears the strangled words gasped by Tidrick: “Advance with the wire cutters!” It’s futile; Nash has no cutters. To give the order, Tidrick has raised himself up on his hands and made himself a target for an instant. Nash, burrowing into the sand, sees machine gun bullets rip Tidrick from crown to pelvis. From the cliff above, the German gunners are shooting into the survivors as from a roof top…

    I don’t think the nursing home staff who tried to tell Mr. Jordan “no” had any idea who tried to tell him “no” before.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  33. The Greatest Generation: Escape artist Bernard Jordan.
    Today’s warriors: Blubbering Bowe Bergdahl.

    Johanna L (75b7f0)

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