Greater than 75 years after Julie Balke’s mom nursed wounded males on Omaha Seaside, a easy handful of sand would deliver the daughter of a hero virtually to tears.
ORANGE PARK, Fla. — She wasn’t even 5 and a half toes tall, but Julie Balke’s mom was a hero of monumental proportion.
Her mother was a nurse who went onto Omaha Seaside the day after the invasion of Normandy. The seashore was nonetheless lined with bloody our bodies and wounded troopers.
Balke remembers her mom, Julie Barker, speaking about holding a soldier whose legs and arms had been blown off. “She held him till he bled out,” Balke mentioned.
The soldier’s personal mother was an ocean away. Barker was a nurse and mother to many on that seashore in 1944.
It was an American victory. The start of the Allied forces crushing the Nazi battle machine.
However the worth was super and never simply on that day.
Balke remembers how years after her mother’s return house she would sprint beneath the piano in a storm. The thunder was an excessive amount of just like the sound of explosions in battle.
Now Balke realizes her mother had PTSD. However her mother all the time maintained her satisfaction in serving our nation.
Balke promised her mother she would journey sometime to Normandy and stand on the identical seashore and the identical sand the place her mother endured the tragic penalties of battle. Nevertheless, Balke has a tricky time getting round, as a consequence of her well being.
So final yr, when First Coast Information reporter Jeannie Blaylock returned from Normandy for the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, Balke referred to as her.
She requested, “By any probability, did you deliver again sand from Omaha Seaside?”
“Sure” was the reply. Jeannie had quietly scooped up sand as many do on Omaha Seaside in Normandy, France. It is a quiet course of. Folks present a lot respect simply touching what many take into account hallowed floor.
After which Jeannie had no concept then how a lot it might imply to a lady in Orange Park.
Balke obtained the bottle of sand and stared at it. She was moved and clearly grateful for the connection to her mother’s expertise so a few years in the past.
Balke then defined she needed it put in her casket when she handed away as a tribute to her mom.
As a approach above and past her promise of paying her honor.