My grandfather, Sidney, was one of the soldiers that made up the first wave of American troops to storm the beaches of Normandy, France. About three months after D-Day, he and the other soldiers made it to the French countryside where they began to target and reclaim villages that had become restrained by the Germans. During this time, the Germans fiercely retaliated by mortaring and shelling the American troops. A battle ensued between the two rivals. After spending three weeks in a foxhole, Sidney and his infantry were given the instructions to move forward and take their positions. While my grandfather was running across the field, a concussion grenade landed roughly five feet from him and propelled him close to 25 feet in the air. When he landed, he distinctly remembered someone kicking him in the head. It turns out that the blow he received to his head actually came from his own foot. A piece of shrapnel sliced through his left leg directly through the bone and then exited, leaving only the flesh to hold his leg to his body. He was in the hospital for over two months, where he received the Purple Heart for being wounded in battle. Sidney was offered his release to return back to America, but he chose to stay in the army another four years as a Mess Sergeant, where he supervised the preparation of meals for over 800 soldiers. Although he no longer served on the front lines, he was now able to serve and strengthen the American men who would be.
– Chloe Gronsbell