Today we reflect. First, as it is the 73rd anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy. It’s hard not to think of the brave men that stormed the beaches of France to push back the advance of the Nazis. What a different world it would be were it not for their courageous D-Day mission.
Secondly, we are fortunate in our daily work to meet so many wonderful people who have truly had an impact on the world. One such hero is Sully de Fontaine. Sully was recently referred to us by a dear patient because he was having difficulties with his VA issued hearing aids. We set him up with a new pair and his wife Angelique is thrilled to report that she can’t remember Sully being so talkative. They laugh now because she asks to turn up the volume on the TV and not Sully. But that’s not why we want you to know Sully.
Sully was born in Brussels to French parents and joined the US Army as a young man during World War II. One of the first soldiers to ever parachute out of the back of an airplane at the age of 17, Sully was sent to occupied France in 1944 to escort downed pilots to safety. After the war, he served in Europe in the Office of Strategic Services and then later assigned to the Special Forces (Airborne). In addition to being an instructor at Fort Bragg, he oversaw Congo operations that rescued more than 200 missionaries stranded in remote jungle villages. He was later deployed to Algeria during the Algerian War and then served in Vietnam leading teams of special forces. Books and movies both fiction and non-fiction depict the actions of this legendary soldier (think John Wayne).
Colonel de Fontaine retired in 1976, a truly decorated war hero having received the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Master Parachutist and nearly 20 other US and foreign decorations. He is a member of the Special Forces Hall of Fame. As a civilian Sully served in several capacities as a special investigator, security specialist and consultant in the gaming industry.
Update: Just this past April (2018), he received the Congressional Medal of Honor. He brought it in for us to see and it is incredible. What a national hero!
We feel truly blessed to know courageous men and women like Sully. Many thanks to Sully for his service and thanks to Dr. Dale for introducing us to such a fine gentleman and true patriot.