The man, Lt. Frank DuBose, had stepped in front of a German artillery shell to save then 20-year-old Army Private Anthony Grasso's life
It is true that we will never forget those who save our lives but veteran Anthony Grasso's story is a lot more special. During one of World War II's bloodiest battles in the Hürtgen Forest, 23-year-old Lt. Frank DuBose stepped in front of a German artillery shell to save then 20-year-old Army Private Anthony Grasso's life. Grasso, now 96, travelled to South Carolina to give a final salute to the brave man.
Grasso explained that the blast had immediately killed DuBose, while he was thrown 30 feet into the air, resulting in head and neck injuries. "He stood between me and the blast, taking the brunt of the shrapnel," he recounted, according to Fox. 76 years later, Grasso travelled from Massachusetts to DuBose's gravesite at Quaker Cemetary in Camden, South Carolina to give a final salute to the man who saved his life.
The outlet further reported that Grasso is one of the last surviving World War II veterans who was profiled in the book, "All Souls Day: The World War II Battle and the Search for a Lost U.S. Battalion," by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Joseph M. Pereira.
Pereira took it upon himself to find DuBose's gravesite through archival research and informed Grasso who was looking forward to visiting the man who saved him. "At that point, he didn't hesitate to say, ‘Let’s go down'. This weekend is the day when he will finally be able to say the words to Frank that he wanted to say 76 years ago, which was, ‘Thank you for saving my life,'" Pereira told Fox News. The outlet also reported that a procession of local police vehicles and motorcycles led Grasso to the airport, where a military guard was waiting for him.
Fox further said that Pereira accompanied Grasso to South Carolina, along with "Uncle" Sam Rounseville, Gayle Bellotti and several of Grasso's family members. The tribute was dubbed, "Saving Private Grasso." "His story is a 76-year-old story of two things. One is fighting PTSD. He had it in the worst way. And the other thing is survivor's guilt. And those two things have shadowed him throughout his life," Pereira said.
"It is very cathartic for him. It is a lifetime of grief and sorrow just lifting off his shoulders. I could see it in the glint of his eyes this morning when he was surrounded by everyone," he added.