By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Todd Anton, historian, author, and a local teacher in the Snowline Unified School District has been offered an amazing opportunity to fulfill a dream–to become a battlefield guide in Normandy, France during the summertime.
The exclusive tour company is “D-Day Memory Tours” (DDMT) and is based in Boca Raton, Florida and also in the Normandy region of France. Anton has been offered a “tryout” to see if he can make the cut and bring history to life for the tour participants. Anton who was a Board of Trustees member for the National World War Il Museum in New Orleans, LA for four years was mentored by renowned historian Stephen E. Ambrose who wrote the classic WWII book “Band of Brothers.” Anton has a Master’s degree in WWII Studies and has authored well-received books on WWII himself focusing on WWII MLB Baseball and WWII NFL Football. Fox Sports even featured Anton and his WWII stories in a one hour TV special “From the Ballpark to the Battlefield: Baseball and World War II.” Anton and the Tri-Community Kiwanis Club is the host of the annual veterans every year at Serrano High School. Over the last 24 years Anton and his students have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for veterans and served thousands of veterans. Anton’s own father served in France and Germany in WWII in the 70th Infantry Division and being able to trace the footsteps of heroes is a very emotional opportunity. You can visit the D-Day Memory Tour webpage at http://www.ddaymemorytour.com/
Jean-Pierre “JP” Paviot is the visionary and owner of D-Day Memory Tours (DDMT). This Frenchman is passionate that DDMT brings France and the US together as brothers and sisters in the fight for freedom then and now. JP’s respect, love, and passion to honor the sacrifice of so many Americans for his nation is truly amazing. “The concept of this adventure is simple. We take you back in time with my team. You will experience the history of D-Day in a different way, very personal, as a witness of history. It will be June 1944! We want to be different, our expertise and knowledge allows us to share Normandy with you, as if you were a soldier back in 1944. We believe that history can be experienced in immersion by being there and living there. We in France remember how many young American soldiers came here to fight and die for our freedom from so very far away. You are guaranteed an authentic 1944 adventure as no one has had offered before.”Tour participants can choose their US division that was in action in Normandy and DDMT will suit them up in authentic WWII gear and they will live the life as it was in 1944. DDMT has authentic WWII Jeeps for participants to ride in. DDMT also has it own M1 Sherman Tank and an actual Higgins assault boat for participants to ride in in the calm waters near Pegasus Bridge. Lastly if requested DDMT even has access to a C-47 for actual paratrooper jumps over the Norman countryside if a person is jump trained. Most participants choose the legendary 82nd Airborne Divisions’ “All Americans,” or the 101st Airborne Divisions’ “Screaming Eagles” to honor. Anton will portray the 82 AB in honor of his dear friend and airborne legend Arthur “Dutch” Schultz. Schultz was a High Desert resident for many years and was written about in many WWII books, as well as featured in the WWII classic movie “The Longest Day.” Anton will be leading many unique side trips to honor MLB legends who fought at Normandy such as Hall of Famer Yogi Berra of the NY Yankees who fought a Utah Beach, Morrie Martin who landed with the 1st Division at Omaha Beach and played with the Brooklyn Dodgers. A special tribute will honor “Lefty” Brewer who was killed in action at the La Fiere Bridge outside of Ste. Mere Eglise. Brewer was with the Washington Senators organization.
The only problem for Anton is in order to make the tryout; Anton has to get there. Anton’s supporters at the Don Ferrarese Foundation are hoping to bring this opportunity to reality. If you wish to support Todd, any amount will help. He needs to raise nearly $2,000 by May 20 or he loses his tryout. If he makes the team, Anton’s wish is to get a group of local High Desert people to join him and the DDMT team for next year’s 75th Anniversary Celebration in Normandy.
Any questions? Contact Mr. Dan Tate at 760-951-8003. Thanks to the Don Ferrarese Foundation support. As a result all donations are tax-deductible since the foundation is a 501-c-3 charity (tax ID# 73-1723719).