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June 05, 2019

Remembering D-Day, My Father, and Those Like Him

June 6th, 1944, is a day that is forever burned in the memory of America. It was the day that our boys, boys barely old enough to be called "men," courageously stormed the beaches of Normandy. They went to invade France, rid it of Nazi Germany, and begin the final phase of WWII. The day has a particularly special place in my heart because of who was there—my father. 

Cecil Boykin turned 18 years of age two months prior to D-Day. He'd been in the US Navy for just over a year up to that point. He joined because he was raised in a home where God, America, and family were core values to live by. He joined because four of his older brothers went, and he wanted to follow in their footsteps. 

He joined because it was the right thing to do. 

Cecil Boykin steered the Higgins Boat to the drop point on the shore of Omaha Beach, carrying soldiers of the US Army's 1st Infantry Division. Things didn't exactly go as planned, however, because Cecil never made it to the shore. A German mortar round was launched from the beach and struck Cecil's Higgins Boat. 

Several of the infantrymen were either killed or wounded. Cecil woke up in a military hospital in Virginia, never again to see out of his left eye. Of his brothers that who served in WWII, Cecil was the only one that came home wounded. 

After WWII, Cecil went on to serve in the US Army and the US Marine Corps, in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Just like he was raised, he put God, America, and his family at the forefront of everything he did. My father used his disability pension to pay for and build a house for his parents to live in during their retired years. My father gave back to his community by coaching baseball, teaching his children and grandchildren outdoors skills, and even taking in a 12-year-old boy who had no father figure of his own. 

My father didn't care about what others thought of an older white couple taking in an African-American boy during a time when there was still quite a bit of racism in the South. No, my father was the type of man who did what was right, even when it made him stand out in ways that others might find uncomfortable. 

On this 75th Anniversary of D-Day, I remember my father and those like him who risked it all to fight for their beloved country. I remember the men of character and core values who were willing to storm the beaches of Normandy and risk it all to liberate those under the inhumane hand of Nazi Germany and save their own country from being ruled by Hitler. I am proud to be the son of such a man. 

It's my hope and prayer that we never forget the sacrifice of the soldiers on D-Day. May we always remember and honor them.  

Dr. Dobson interviews retired Lt. General Boykin on the daily broadcast.

On this broadcast, Dr. Dobson sits down with retired Lt. General Jerry Boykin, whose father Cecil was part of the D-Day invasion. General Boykin talks about his dad’s injury during the battle, and why we must honor the men who sacrificed their lives.

Listen to Day 1

Then on Day 2, Dr. Dobson concludes his conversation with General Boykin who opens up about his father's post-war life, which included a decision to follow Jesus.

Listen to Day 2

Learn More about the Guest

Lt. General (Ret.) Jerry Boykin was an original member of the U.S. Army's Delta Force, and commanded the highly trained Green Berets. He had many special op assignments and was involved in numerous high-profile missions; most notably in Iran, Grenada, and Somalia. Lt. General Boykin worked in numerous high-level offices all over the country. Some of his most influential positions include Brigadier General for the C.I.A, Commanding General at Fort Bragg, and Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence at the Pentagon. Lt. General Boykin was the recipient of the Bronze Star, 2 Purple Hearts along with many other commendations. In addition to his prolific military career, he is a best-selling author, an ordained minister and currently serves as the Executive Vice President of the Family Research Council.

Lt. General Jerry Boykin

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