Comanche Indian Veterans Association delegation to share in D-Day activities in France
Today and over the following week will mark a rare opportunity as a delegation from the Comanche Indian Veterans Association as they begin observance of the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France.
Sixteen members of the delegation will attend the commemorative ceremony of the D-Day invasion at the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville sur Mer. Attending will be: Kevin Pohawpatchoko and Shirley Rivera, Roger and Linda Tehauno, Clifford and Cheryl Takawana, Lanny and Shelley Asepermy, George and Clifford Red Elk, Nona Gail Mihecoby, Tavia Torralba, Ramonah Davis, as well as Comanche Nation Princess Ashleigh Mithlo, Comanche Nation Public Information Officer and Princess Sorority Director Jolene Schonchin, and Kevin Sovo who will provide the drum and singing.
The group arrived Wednesday morning in Paris and were taken to Tilly ur Seulles, France, the hometown of the group’s sponsor. Lanny Asepermy, CIVA historian, said that Stephane Jacquet, author/attorney/museum curator and historian, invited them in October 2018. Jacquet wrote a book about the mark the Comanche Code Talkers made in helping liberate France during World War II. He also sponsored the Comanche Code Talker trip to France for the 70th Anniversary of D-Day.
“I said I would never fly again after I returned from Washington D.C., in 2008 when I lobbied for the Code Talker Congressional Gold Medal,” Asepermy said. “When this trip was in the planning stages I changed my mind because it gave me an opportunity to not only recognize our Code Talkers and actually stand on Utah Beach where they came ashore under heavy fire. Maybe that will give me a true feeling of the life threating circumstances they withstood coming ashore.”