East TN paratrooper jumping in D-Day ceremony
An East Tennessee paratrooper was chosen for a special honor in Normandy.
Private First Class Tanner Vittatoe just turned 21 years old, but this Friday he will participate in a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The Loudon County native is a paratrooper with the Army's 82nd Airborne Division out of Fort Bragg. He is one of 120 soldiers in the country chosen to participate in a commemorative jump at the official D-Day ceremony.
The group is partnering in the jump with the French foreign legion. More than a dozen heads of state, including President Obama, are expected attend.
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Vittatoe is the youngest paratrooper to jump Friday. His mom, Jennifer Gibson, says she was able to speak with him briefly a few days ago and he is thrilled to be a part of the honor.
"It just makes me so proud. He was excited. He said the president is going to be here. The president of France is going to be there. I mean it's really a big deal. It just makes me proud they chose him of all the people that could have went. They chose him," she said.
Vittatoe's unit landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day in 1944 and played a key role in taking over the liberation of France.
His mom says he will be wearing the wings of one of the veterans fighting that day.