LITTLE FALLS, N.J. -- Seventy years ago, a 19-year-old from St. Louis was on a small attack boat launching rockets at the Germans during the Allied invasion of Normandy. Lawrence Peter Berra, a minor league baseball player who would later become known worldwide as Yogi, emerged unscathed from that bloody day. Now 89 years old, Berra was honoured Friday by the New Jersey museum that bears his name, as well as by the Navy and several veterans groups. His age prevented him from participating in ceremonies in France. He sat in a wheelchair, a wearing a Navy blue Yankees windbreaker in the air conditioned room, along with a Yankees cap. Berra did not speak during the ceremony. But he told The Associated Press afterward that D-Day was "amazing" and "awful," as he fired at the Nazis from 300 yards offshore. "You saw a lot of horrors," he said in a voice now grown soft with age. "I was fortunate. It was amazing going in, all the guys over there." Berra, who went on to win 10 World Series titles with the New York Yankees, was part of a 6-man crew operating a 36-foot LCSS boat, the letters standing for landing craft support, small. Berra previously joked that the letters stood for "landing craft suicide squad." Their mission was to fire rockets at German gun targets to protect Allied troops struggling to storm the beach. Three of his comrades died in the invasion, which included 150,000 Allied personnel. It is widely considered the beginning of the turning of the war in the Allies favour. "We had orders not to go on the beach," Berra said. "They went on their own, and they got it. We had to stay back and protect them." During the ceremony, Berra was lauded by the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Foundation, by the military support group Quilts of Honor, which presented him with a quilt bearing his likeness and several of his remembrances of the day, as well as by several dozen sailors from New Jerseys Earle Naval Weapons Station. Former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda also attended but did not speak. "It is fitting that we gather here to honour an American treasure," said Peter Fertig, president of the Bob Feller award group. "Lawrence Peter Berra, better known as Yogi, served on a rocket boat and was at the tip of the spear at Normandy 70 years ago this morning. Imagine how you would have felt sitting in a boat and seeing so many missiles and rockets soaring over your head, and yet you and your comrades still have a job to do. What a debt of gratitude we owe to those who gave up their American dream so that we could live ours." Dennis Smith Jersey
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. - Mike Zimmer has brought a demanding style to the Minnesota Vikings.HOUSTON - After spending his entire 12-year NFL career in Houston, there are few things that could surprise Andre Johnson anymore. But things have changed so much under new coach Bill OBrien that even the veteran receiver has been taken aback at times. One example is seeing OBrien in the locker room chatting and sharing a joke or two with his players. He just interacts more with the team, Johnson said. Previous coaches didnt do stuff like that. Its a one sign of a different culture within the Texans and part of the plan of the first-year NFL head coach to make this his team from top to bottom. OBrien came to Houston after two seasons at Penn State where he took over the unenviable job of replacing Joe Paterno in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal that rocked the university. He was an offensive assistant under Bill Belichick at New England from 2007-12, and the Penn State job was his first as a head coach. Since taking over the Texans, whose shocking 2-14 collapse after two straight playoff trips led to Gary Kubiaks firing, OBriens overarching mantra has been that nothing is more important than the team. There are reminders everywhere, starting in the locker room where each locker features a Texans logo with the words: Always put the team first, inside. Running back Arian Foster caught some flak in training camp when he answered each of 11 questions in one interview with slight variations of: Im just trying to be the best teammate I can be. But with OBriens Texans that response might be one of the best things one could say. And if focusing solely on the team is whats expected, something completely off-limits is worrying about what happened in 2013. OBrien wont entertain questions about what occurred before he arrived, and a favourite phrase of his is, We dont talk about last year. Everything he does seems to be an effort to make every person in the organization feel as if theyre part of a family. Were all in it together, OBrien said. Were coaches and it is our job to teach these guys how we want them to play football in our systems and our vision. At the same time, we want input, especially from the guys that have played aa lot of football.dddddddddddd Chris Myers, a 10-year veteran who has been Houstons centre since 2008, noticed a change from the moment OBrien arrived. He thinks shaking everything up helped create cohesiveness within the team. From square one everythings changed, Myers said. Theres different signs around; times are different. He kind of wanted to change everything so it was brand new for everyone, no matter if you were a rookie or if you were a vet for 10 years it was going to be new to every single person. So no one could just lean back and say: OK Im used to that. Middle linebacker Brian Cushing has enjoyed the positivity and enthusiasm OBrien has brought to the team and loves that he treats everyone, from 2014 top overall pick Jadeveon Clowney to players on the practice squad, the same. Hes got a lot of respect for everyone, Cushing said. Hes very conscious about every single guy, what theyre doing, how theyre feeling and will take care of their specific needs. That doesnt mean that hes easy on anyone. When asked to describe the 44-year-old coach, player after player used one word: Demanding. Every day is a work day and nothing is taken for granted, cornerback Johnathan Joseph said. Everyone is held to a certain high standard and everyone has the same responsibility as the next teammate. But as much of a taskmaster as he can be, he is also very conscious and committed to his family and the concerns players have with their own families. When he was hired. he said that an attractive aspect of the job was Houstons world-class medical centre. OBriens 11-year-old son Jack cant walk or talk because of a rare neurological disorder that also causes seizures. Players have been wowed by his understanding of personal situations and said that it is a relief to know his door is always open to discuss any issues that they might have, even if it isnt about football. Hes a very, very family oriented, family driven person, Myers said. To be able to be demanding on the field and to do your best off the field, (with) him understanding certain situations with family, and that family comes first, I think gains a lot of respect with a lot of players. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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