Veteran reconstructed Invasion of Normandy battle scene in garage

CHICAGO -- Vietnam veteran Jerome Weatherspoon has a special hobby.

Weatherspoon, a 67-year-old retiree, reconstructed the battle scene of the Invasion of Normandy, complete with replica war planes hanging from the ceiling. During World War II, allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy, France to fight Nazi Germany troops in a deadly battle.

Weatherspoon began his project in 1985 -- mainly for his son.

"I said, 'Maybe I can get my son to be interested in some of my hobbies that I had,'" Weatherspoon said. "I said, 'What if I could build some soldiers, put them on a table and maybe I can get him to take interest in this.'"

It grew into something more for himself. He had no idea how big it was going to get.

He finished the battle scene last November. And it was only then that he realized what he re-created, Weatherspoon said.

It's now 20-by-18-feet in size, taking up a three-and-a-half-car garage.

Weatherspoon made sure every detail was accurate. He researched, searched for each piece and built items - such as custom helmets - that he couldn't find.

Weatherspoon worked 16-hour days on this project. Sometimes, he worked on the project after a full day at his job.

"What I have felt was tears," Weatherspoon said. "A lot of men lost their lives."

Weatherspoon said he welcomes any and all veterans to come by and take it all in.
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