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D-Day living history set for Saturday

Becky Campbell • Aug 28, 2019 at 8:27 PM

Walking in someone else’s shoes to relive their experience might not be truly possible, but a local group of historians will present a living history of D-Day this weekend to help people understand the sacrifices of veterans killed in World War II,

“Our group of re-enactors and living historians (is) known collectively as the "A Walk in Their Boots" committee, said Event Coordinator Jeffrey Campbell. “We have for the past eight years presented an event known as ‘A Walk in Their Boots.’ 

“A Walk In Their Boots” is an all-era/military timeline event. Our mission is to honor the service and sacrifice of the American soldier, sailor, airman and Marine over our nation’s history through living history impressions, encampments, veterans-recognition programs, lecture series and battle re-creations.”

Military historian Allen Jackson will be at the event to tell the stories of several WWII veterans.

“I will be telling D-Day stories of James B. McKamey, Homer L. Pease from Johnson City, the Tester brothers from Telford and Harry B. Watson’s story about D-Day and being captured by the Germans afterwards,” Jackson said.

Jackson said Pease’s story has often been told incorrectly. Pease was in the Army, not the Marines as many people have said. Pease was 13 when he joined the military with the permission of a stranger who posed as the young teenager’s father.

Pease’ ruse was discovered two years later after he was injured in the Battle of the Bulge. Once military officials realized Pease’ true age, he was sent home. He tried to get back into the military later, but was turned down. Eventually, Pease joined the Army legitimately. He was recently inducted posthumously into the Johnson City Schools Hall of Fame.

Campbell said the group has held the ‘A Walk In Their Boots’ at various locations, but this year it will be at Sycamore Shoals on Saturday and focus on the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

The event, scheduled for 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., is free.

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