NORMANDY, France (WHTM) — Sgt. 1st Class Nicholar Hammar has been in the Army for more than a decade. He enlisted after he graduated from Newport High School.
“I joined the army when I was 18 and I’ve been at it for almost 14 years now, and I’m currently stationed in Fort Carson, Colorado,” Hammar said.
For the first time, his duties will take him to Europe. He is part of a select group of service members participating in the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
“I was selected for this one because I do know how to speak French pretty good, not great, but alright,” he said.
While in Normandy, Hammar is escorting World War II veterans to and from ceremonies, a task he says he is enjoying and honored to do.
“What they did was amazing. Looking down over the beach, I can’t imagine taking my platoon off of a ship and go off those cliffs or across that beach. It’d be a daunting task,” he said.
However, the trip means something more to Hammar and his family. Three of his great-grandfathers served in World War II. One served and died in Italy.
“I brought his manual and his Bible with me. I’ve taken it on all of my deployments, but this is the first time a Hammar has been back to Europe in 75, 74 years,” he said.
Hammar hopes the assignment helps him connect with his great-grandfather’s memory, as well as the thousands of soldiers who fought for their country that day.
“Every once in a while they pause, and one thing that each of them has brought up is how they’re going to pass on sometime soon, and they’re going to reach the other side, and they’re going to recognize all of the other men that they left here,” he said.