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Local veteran who survived D-Day buried at Arlington National Cemetery

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 3:31 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 13, 2021 at 12:49 PM CDT
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HOBART, Wis. (WBAY) - A local World War II veteran and D-Day survivor is set to receive his final honor.

Bob Reeners of Hobart passed away last September, but due to the pandemic his burial at Arlington National Cemetery has been delayed for months. Now the time has nearly come for the Reeners family to pay their final respects.

Over the years, we caught up with Bob Reeners a number of times to talk about his haunting memories of D-Day.

“What was going through our mind was, what the hell is going to happen,” Reeners explained to us back in 2014 on the 70th Anniversary of the Normandy invasion.

Reeners’ job was to transport troops and ammunition to the beaches of Normandy, and at 90 years old, the bloodshed was still vivid in his mind.

“As a survivor you think of all of those men, cut down in the prime of their life, it tears my heart out,” said Reeners.

“I know how important it was to him to be in the service. He’d start talking about World War Two and everything and it would just break him up and I’d never seen my dad cry like that before,” says Debbie Juelich, Reeners’ daughter.

Twenty-two members of the Reeners family will be at Arlington National Cemetery next Tuesday for Reeners’ burial with full military honors.

As a retired Coast Guard Master Chief, he earned the right to rest in peace in our nation’s most distinguished cemetery.

“That’s what he wanted and I knew that and that’s why I’m taking the whole family out because I think that this is something for our grandchildren, our great grandchildren to know about,” says Dorothy Reeners, Bob’s wife.

“Means everything to follow my dad through to the very end, to see his final resting place,” adds Juelich.

For the Reeners family it will be a highly emotional day, saying goodbye and honoring the legacy of a man dedicated to his country, and devoted to his family.

“Very proud that I’m his daughter,” says Juelich.

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