The entertainer's gift will allow cash-strapped servicemen to travel to Normandy for the June 6 ceremony. "These men sacrificed everything and we owe them this," insists Rod, whose grandfather was decorated in WWII and who says he'd like to meet the veterans
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Vets 'touched' as Rod's 7,500 gift makes D-Day trip possible

20 MARCH 2009
A group of D-Day veterans are to travel to the 65th commemoration of the Normandy landings courtesy of Rod Stewart. The Maggie May singer offered 7,500 to help 15 former WWII servicemen travel to France for the June 6 ceremony, after hearing of their financial difficulties.

Rod - whose grandfather was decorated in WWI - said: "These men sacrificed everything and we owe them this.

"I'd like to meet them and talk to them as I'd be fascinated to hear about how they landed on the beaches."

Essex veteran Don Shepperd expressed his delight at the gift, saying: "We're all really touched that he cares".

As the rocker's donation was revealed, the French media was reporting President Obama is widely expected to attend an anniversary celebration at Omaha, the code name given the beach where the US army landed in France.

The British royal family has yet to receive an invitation from officials in Paris, despite the Queen and Prince Philip's keen interest in supporting veterans.

Senior palace sources said they would "definitely consider" any last minute requests to attend, pointing out that the monarch attended the 60th anniversary event in 2004.

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