TORRANCE, CA – Pelican Products, Inc. is teaming up with the Southern California based, non-profit organization, The Best Defense Foundation (BDF), to help transport and honor eleven WWII Veterans back to Normandy, France for the 75th observance of D-Day (June 6, 2019).
These brave men, and one incredible female D-Day combat nurse, will be welcomed and celebrated in Normandy as liberators of the continent. “In March 2019, Pelican attended one of the missions that sent off a small group of veterans to Guam, Iwo Jima, Tinian, and Saipan,” said Stephan Corti, President of Pelican’s Commercial / Government Division. “From then on, once we saw the great work The Best Defense Foundation was doing, it became one of Pelican’s missions to support them.”
Additionally, to help protect the memory of this amazing experience, Pelican, in collaboration with the Foundation created ‘Pelican Memento Kits’ which featured a personalized Pelican 1200 Case, each with the Veteran’s Playing Card, Custom BDF Challenge Coin, Military Service Branch Patch and four small jars for the Veterans to collect, label and preserve sand from each of the Pacific Theatre beaches visited on the trip.
“We owe it to these veterans to honor and never forget their sacrifice and service on this grand remembrance of the cost of freedom,” said Donnie Edwards, Founder of The Best Defense Foundation.
According to the AP: “Of the 73,000 Americans who took part, just 30 are currently scheduled to come to France for this year’s anniversary.” The foundation is sponsoring 11 of these heroes (some of which landed on Omaha beach that historic day) including: 2Lt Leila Emeline (Allen) Morrison, 118th Evacuation Hospital; Corporal David G. Tolan, Company C, 712th Tank Bn. Attached to 90th Division, D+22; Ssgt. George K. Mullins, Company C, 1st Battalion, 327th Glider Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, D-Day; Tec5 John H. Stevenson, Attached to 29th Division, 195th Ordnance Depot Company; PFC Russell Lee Roy Pickett, Company A, 1st Bn, 116th Infantry Regiment 29th Infantry Division; PFC John D. Foy, Company A, 1st Bn, 347th Infantry Regiment 87th Infantry Division; Comnd. Sgt. Major Ralph G. King, Company H, 3rd Bn, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division; Maj. Edward Burke (Capt.), Company A, 821st Tank Destroyer Battalion 29th Infantry Division; Gerard R. ‘Jerry’ Dietch, Naval Combat Demolition, Unit 30 & Unit 24; Cpt John Raaen, HQ Company, 5th Ranger Infantry Battalion; SM3C Gilbert D. Nadeau, Signalman, USS LCS (L) (3) – 45, US Navy.
The Best Defense is only able to provide this experience to veterans with the help of their donors and sponsors. Join the ranks, donate and learn more at www.BestDefenseFoundation.org.
Pelican Products, Inc. is a portfolio company of Behrman Capital, a private equity investment firm based in New York and San Francisco. For more information, visit: www.pelican.com or www.behrmancap.com.