Survivors of the Occupation

Danièle Patrix Boucherie

The Girl Who Wore Freedom. Born in Ste. Marie du Mont and the daughter of one of the Free French soldiers, Dany lived through the occupation and liberation and has helped to celebrate and thank America and its WWII Veterans since June 6, 1945.

Jean-Marie Boucherie

Husband to Dany for 55 years, Jean-Marie was born in Carentan, France and was 7 when the Allies arrived. The Army established a base of operations in his backyard. Among other memories he shares, he recalls trading his father’s eggs to the soldiers for chocolate and chewing gum.

Françoise LaColley

Born and raised in Carentan, France, Françoise was 14 when the Allies liberated her village. Before the Allies arrived, she recalls her mother mouthing off to a German officer and being sent to a work camp where, thankfully, she soon escaped. Françoise has worked since her youth to help plan commemoration activities for veterans and their friends and family.

Additional Interviews

Flo Boucherie

Granddaughter of Cecil and Paul Patrix, daughter of Dany and Jean-Marie Boucherie, Flo has been immersed in D-Day history and celebration from her birth. Born in Carentan, Flo has been a passionate collector and celebrator of WWII Veterans all her life. She continues to work hard to keep the memories of her family alive and to show love and gratitude to the veterans for the freedoms and liberties she experiences each day.

Charles DeVallavieille

Deputy Mayor of Sainte-Mère-Église, Director Manager of the Utah Beach Museum, Owner of Brecourt Manor, Son of Colonel Michel de Vallavieille (owner of Brecourt Manor in 1944). Charles has spent his life gratefully watching over the sacred battlefields of his father’s farm and allowing veterans to visit the hallowed ground in private tours. He presents each returning veteran with a medal of thanks that his father made. He works daily with the town of Sainte-Marie-du-Mont and the Utah Beach Museum to preserve the memories of D-Day and to thank the veterans that liberated his home and town.

Thomas Voisin

Collector and Re-enactor. Thomas became interested in the history of D-Day at the age of 10 when a friend’s father encouraged him to dress up as a US Army soldier. At 16 he began collecting and reenacting. His goal is to share his knowledge of the war and pay tribute to the men who fought for the liberation of Europe. He considers himself an ambassador of the history of his region and says “it is important not to forget the sacrifices of these men and women so that we can live free today.”

Flavie Poisson

Collector, Re-enactor, and works at the Utah Beach Museum. Flavie became interested in WWII history when she heard her grandparents’ stories about what happened during the war. She has dedicated her life to the study of WWII and thanking the veterans who helped win her country’s freedom. In 2015, Flavie spent 3 months traveling around in the United States to personally thank WWII Veterans and collect their stories.

Valérie Gautier Cardin

President, Veterans Back to Normandy Association. “An errand to run, an encounter, a lost man and the beginning of an adventure.”  This is how Valérie describes the way her passion for the veterans of WWII was born. She met her first lost veteran at the age of 15 and helped him reunite with the French family that hid him when he escaped a German prison camp. This veteran introduced them to many more and in 2011 Valerie founded her organization.

Since 2012 she has helped 25 veterans and their families return to France. She works at a middle school where the students raise funds to help bring the veterans over to Normandy. The students, teachers, veterans and families go together to flower the graves of 42 American soldiers who died to give them Liberty.

Brad Freeman

WWII Veteran, Mississippi native, “Mr. B” served with the 101st Airborne, 506th, Easy Company, also known as “Band of Brothers.” Mr. B jumped into Normandy in the wee hours of June 6th 1944, again into Holland, and was wounded in the knee at Bastogne. He made it back to Easy Company in time for them to take Hitler’s “Eagle’s Nest.” He was one of the 60mm mortar men and served under Sgt. “Wild Bill” Guarnere as well as Major. Richard Winters. In Sept 2017, this production was able to introduce him to Dany so she could thank him, personally, for liberating her village.

COL. David Chapman

Colonel, U.S. Army, Sr. Defense Official, U.S. Embassy Paris, France. Col. Chapman’s office helps coordinate and facilitate all plans for the US Military’s participation in the yearly commemoration ceremonies. He will be participating in the 2018 commemoration parachute jumps in honor of his past unit, the 82nd Airborne.

SGT. Taylor, Hunter J, Delta Co.

SGT. Taylor was selected to represent the 101st Airborne Div. in the 2015 D-Day commemoration ceremonies and was in awe of all he saw and did. He believes America needs to understand the depth of love and gratitude the French still carry for the Americans that came to help them. He is currently serving in the Colorado National Guard with the 10th Mountain Division.

Andy Barnett

Andy Barnett is known primarily for his work as a voice actor and narrator. He has narrated television shows, voiced national commercials, video game characters, and has recorded audiobooks. Aside from voice over work, he has also has trained in improvisational comedy and stage acting and enjoys performing both when time allows. He lives with his wife and four sons spending time between Los Angeles and Kansas City.

Elliot Callighan

Elliot began playing the violin at the age of four, piano at eight, guitar at 12 and the computer at 20. He enlisted in the Army National Guard to serve his country and study music. In five years he had received a Bachelor’s in Music Composition and a Master’s in Cinema Audio Production.

Soldiers Selected for