Huron man returns for D-Day+70

Veteran educator Dick Klein was paratrooper who parachuted into France on June 6, 1944
Tom Jackson
Jun 4, 2014

jackson@sanduskyregister.com

HURON

Before he was a longtime Huron educator, Richard "Dick" Klein, 91, was a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne,  which participated in the D-Day invasion of France on June 6, 1944, during World War II.

He doesn't like to talk about himself, says his wife, June Klein, 89. 

But it may be hard for Klein to avoid the spotlight much longer. He's part of a group of veterans, currently in Europe for the 70th anniversary of the invasion, who will be featured on national TV when NBC broadcasts a Brian Williams D-Day news special at 8 p.m. Friday.

June Klein doesn't know if her husband will be on TV.

"It's possible. They are going to interview some of them," she said.

The Greatest Generations Foundation paid to fly Klein and other veterans to France for the commemoration. She said her husband has his cell phone with him but was told not to use it in Europe for security reasons.

Various heads of state are participating in the commemoration of the D-Day invasion, including President Barack Obama.

Klein has returned to Europe more than once, most recently in February, when he and June brought his daughter, Terri Herzog, and son-in-law along for a trip. 

The Normandy invasion by American, British and Canadian troops began the liberation of France and was a final major blow to Adolf Hitler's Nazi empire. 

Storming the beaches of northern France in the face of German guns was a dangerous enterprise. 

But what Klein and other paratroopers in the American 101st and 82nd airborne divisions did was arguably even more daring. Before the troops landed on the beach, Klein and other paratroopers parachuted at night into areas of France a short distance behind the beaches.

Klein survived the battles in Normandy and wound up fighting also in Belgium, Luxembourg and Holland. He was wounded in the battle of Bastogne, in Belgium, where paratroopers were surrounded by German troops during the Battle of the Bulge but refused to surrender. A German sniper killed Klein's best friend.

Klein was born and raised in Huron.

"He didn't wait to be drafted. If you are drafted, you go where the government tells you to go. If you enlist, you have your pick," Mrs. Klein said.

He and June, married now for 64 years, met at a 1945 Ohio State-Michigan football game. The best man at their wedding was the late Jim Campbell, longtime general manager and president of the Detroit Tigers.

Klein was an educator in Huron for 45 years, serving as a teacher, vice principal, principal, coach and athletic director.

A schedule posted on the White House website says that the president, currently in Europe, will leave Poland for France on Thursday. After a private dinner in Paris Thursday night with that country's president, Obama will spend much of his day Friday at D-Day related events in Normandy.

Comments

Dwight K.

Thank you for serving.

Restless1

Only four times did a sitting president not participate in the D-Day activities in France, 2010,2011,2012,2013. He must have been shamed into it since he has very little respect for our military.
Thank you Mr. Klein for your bravery and service.

coasterfan

Republicans voted down funding for veteran's health benefits in February, showing their own particular brand of disrespect for our military. Their stance is all the more deplorable, considering they voted nearly unanimously to send our young men to Iraq/Afghanistan in the first place.

Anyway, Obama DID attend the 2014 D-day commemoration as documented in The Independent (www.independent.co.uk), so you should probably consider getting your news from another source.

It's a shame that you decided to bring politics into what had been a nice tribute to an obviously great individual...

Donegan

Ramping up rhetoric for your party already? I would think you would let their track record speak for itself. Nah you and your worthless party have nothing to show after 6 years except of lies deceit and blame.

freespeech1

read his statement again oh koolaid boy, do you see 2014? Nope So it seems you only see what you think you want to see. And how you can support the dems now after all the scandal and lies and deceit is beyond me. Your false messiah and his band of incompetent's have once again made us the laughing stock of the world. Im waiting for Susan Rice to say on a sunday morning show that Obama is serving with honor and distinction LMAO you cant make this stuff up.

bluzie

Restless1, there is not one ounce of truth to your comment about our President! When you get your information from chain letters, you are almost always wrong! There have only been 4 Presidents who have participated in D-Day activities in France and President Obama is one of them! He is returning for the second time. You should be ashamed that you are such a person who thinks so little of the truth and hates the Commander in Chief of the military more than you respect the military or the truth. Mr Klein was a teacher of mine in high school and would have never stood for such sloppiness in any writing. Thank You Mr Klein for being such a wonderful person, teacher and for serving our country so bravely and with honor.

JACKEL

You are right about Bozo'z attendance,but he is still the biggest disgrace to The Military, next to Clinton. Mr. Klein is more of a Commander in Chief than that traitor. I am a Korean War veteran and if I were there I would turn my back to him .He and Slick Willy are Military Haters. Bozo even wanted them to pay for their own health ins. and many of them are on food stamps, Obama Money !

Informed

Funny because it was during Daddy Bush that the military had major budget cuts.

bluzie

Jackel You can have you own opinions, but you cannot make up facts and get away with it! First of all neither President Clinton nor President Obama hate the military, the facts are that under President Obama more has been done to help those enlisted in the service than in any time in recent history. It was the Republicans who blocked the last bill to help our Veterans! But most of all it is a big fat lie that President Obama wanted them to pay for their own insurance! Do not use email chains for your information, these are usually very wrong and can be easily refuted. If you want our men and women who are enlisted to have better opportunities, you need to contact the Republicans, as they stopped the bill.

Darwin's choice

" you cannot make up facts and get away with it "

Please apply that to the weasel coasterfan, and save you political crap for another story, especially wrong information/lies! The bill was blocked, because of all the non essential bloating democrats loaded into it! Fool.

hard2believe

Mr. Klein is one of the nicest people you could ever know. These men fought hard and deserve the utmost respect.

DickTracey

If you really wanted to show your respect for a man who spent 45 years in education, you would improve your spelling skills.

Fought is spelled f,o,u,g,h,t and it is utmost respect, not upmost.

JACKEL

Good job, detective !

Coram Deo

One of the best teachers I had at Huron High. Always gracious, loved his job and his students. Thank you Mr. Klein not only for your service on D-Day but your service as an educator. Truly a man of courage, one from the "Greatest Generation". God bless you.

Informed

These are two of the most amazing people you would ever want to meet!! Humble, kind, generous, giving, and adventurous! They still travel around the world off the beaten path! Thank you for everything, Dick and June!!

Darwin's choice

I"ve been proud and privileged to be life long friend of the Kleins!

They are amazing!

Thank You for your serving!

hollienewton

Super guy - taught my driver's education class and his wife was my nursery school teacher. Great people.

 

notsofast

Taught me also, still to this day, I try not to brake going into a curve.
Use to hound me all the time.

Darwin's choice

And, how about some ice cream?!!

hard2believe

Sorry, typed very fast this morning. Obviously you got my point

There you go again

You are so loved, Mr. Klein. The Klein's are an incredible couple and truly beautiful people!

2cents

Dick taught me in high school as well. I was too young to appreciate what these men did for our country. My father was also in Europe during the Battle of the bulge. They all dug in waiting for the Germans, the story was told at many Christmas diners when I was a child. Thank you Dick and to all of our military men and women in all the wars they have been asked to serve!