• Sgt. Tami VanZandt, Spc. Forrest Krenke and Spc. Ray Ortega, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, pose for a photograph with their French host June 4 before leaving for her home in Carentan, France. More than 50 French families volunteered to entertain visiting American Soldiers for an evening at their homes. More than 20 Soldiers from the 1st Inf. Div.'s 4th IBCT and CGMCG are in France to help commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy.

    French families adopt 1st Inf. Div. Soldiers for an evening

    Sgt. Tami VanZandt, Spc. Forrest Krenke and Spc. Ray Ortega, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, pose for a photograph with their French host June 4 before leaving for her home in Carentan, France. More than 50 French families...

  • Spc. Jessika Hurst, with the Commanding General's Mounted Color Guard, 1st Infantry Division, is briefed on the evening's curfew while the Folloit family stands behind her, June 4, 2014, in Carentan, France. The family hosted Hurst and three other Soldiers at their home in Carentan with the hopes of learning more about Soldiers and to thank them for their grandfathers liberating their city 70 years ago. More than 20 Soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division's 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, and Commanding General's Mounted Color Guard, are in France to help commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy.

    French families adopt 1st Inf. Div. Soldiers for an evening

    Spc. Jessika Hurst, with the Commanding General's Mounted Color Guard, 1st Infantry Division, is briefed on the evening's curfew while the Folloit family stands behind her, June 4, 2014, in Carentan, France. The family hosted Hurst and three other...

  • Sgt. Tami VanZandt, Spc. Forrest Krenke and Spc. Ray Ortega, all assigned to the Special Troops Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, pose for a photograph with their French host before leaving for her home June 4, 2014, in Carentan, France. More than 50 French families volunteered to entertain visiting American Soldiers for an evening at their homes. The Soldiers are in the city as they help commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy.

    French families adopt 1st Inf. Div. Soldiers for an evening

    Sgt. Tami VanZandt, Spc. Forrest Krenke and Spc. Ray Ortega, all assigned to the Special Troops Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, pose for a photograph with their French host before leaving for her home June 4, 2014...

  • Staff Sgt. Tory Peoples of the 1st Inf. Div. Commanding General's Mounted Color Guard; Staff Sgt Miguel Khan, with the 173rd Airborne Brigade, a French citizen; Pfc. Pedro Beltran and Sgt. Richard Davis, with the commanding General's Mounted Color Guard, pose for a photograph with their French host before leaving for his home June 4, 2014, in Carentan, France. More than 50 French families volunteered to entertain visiting American Soldiers for an evening at their homes. The Soldiers are in the city as they help commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy.

    French families adopt 1st Inf. Div. Soldiers for an evening

    Staff Sgt. Tory Peoples of the 1st Inf. Div. Commanding General's Mounted Color Guard; Staff Sgt Miguel Khan, with the 173rd Airborne Brigade, a French citizen; Pfc. Pedro Beltran and Sgt. Richard Davis, with the commanding General's Mounted Color...

CARENTAN, France (June 5, 2014) -- More than 50 French families volunteered to entertain visiting American Soldiers at their homes, Tuesday evening. The Soldiers, including a group from the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Infantry Division, and Commanding General's Mounted Color Guard, are here to help commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy.

Locals opened their homes for the Soldiers and showed them how the French treat their guests.

"I had such an amazing time," said Spc. Jessika Hurst, with the ommanding General's Mounted Color Guard. "They just kept coming out with more and more food. It was crazy, yet so delicious."

The opportunity allowed Soldiers to get to know the French and their customs. Likewise, it offered opportunity way for a new generation of French citizens to learn more about American Soldiers.

"We did this so our child could meet an American Soldier," said Stephanie Folloit, a mother of two who opened her home up to four Soldiers. "He loves American Soldiers. He loves to read about them, he really looks up to them. But we also did this to say 'thank you' for what your grandfathers did for us."

Though the evening was for the creation of friendships and memories, it didn't come easy for the groups.

"It was weird at first," Hurst said. "We were having conversations on Google Translate for the first hour. Then, they had a friend arrive who spoke good English who helped us communicate."

Folloit said she hoped her family could experience the visits again.

"This was a great night," she said. "I am happy to have met these Americans tonight."

Page last updated Fri June 6th, 2014 at 09:48