This is one of the cheery ways that 97-year-old World War II veteran Jack Port answers his phone when picking up a call from a stranger. I know this because I was that stranger. And every stranger after that (my colleagues) were welcomed with the same enthusiasm and generosity when they met him. We should have known from our first interactions over the phone that he was special. But it wasn’t until we met Jack in his hometown of Escondido, California that we really understood how incredible of a human he is.
Jack entered the army in 1944, and his first foray into the front lines also happened to be one of the largest amphibious invasions in history. (You might know it better as D-Day.) Seventy-five years after the June 6, 1944 landings, it’s easy to get distracted by the numbers: over 100,000 soldiers, 800 planes, 13,000 paratroopers, and 5,000 ships. But getting to know Jack’s story has put a face—and a heart—to these statistics. He’s a reminder of why it is important to honor veterans, as well as the fact that history is personal and that every veteran’s story matters.
This Veteran’s Day we want to say thank you to all veterans. We may not know your specific story, but we do know how incredibly brave, and unique, you are.
And after spending time with Jack, we wanted to find a way for others to get to know him, too. So, we created this short video to help preserve his story, and give travelers from all walks of life the opportunity to meet our friend, Jack Port.
Thank you to those who have served, and Happy Veteran’s Day.
And, if you’re interested in learning even more about veterans like Jack, check out our collection of D-Day tours.
Editor’s note (2022): Since the original publishing of this post, Jack Port, a WWII veteran, passed away at the age of 98. We are eternally grateful for the relationship we formed with Jack and the opportunity to share his incredible story.