WINTHROP, MASS. (WHDH) – A local works to provide four World War II veterans with one last trip to the territory they saved.
New England Wounded Veterans President Andrew Biggio is raising funds for the Normandy and Belgium trip, having made previous trips with other veterans. Biggio is a Marine Corps veteran and said he felt a special connection to those who served in World War II.
“It was a great connection, as a young veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, to work with the oldest generation of veterinarians directly on their battlefields in Europe,” said Biggio.
For some of the veterans, including Cambridge’s Marvin Gilmore, who served in a segregated unit that stormed Utah Beach in Normandy, it will be their first return to old battlefields. Robert Herugue fled France to Winthrop in 1939 before becoming a US paratrooper and has never returned to his drop zone.
John Althuizen was a Dutch resistance fighter who joined the US Army shortly before the Battle of the Bulge. He will officially receive a long overdue Purple Heart in a ceremony on the trip, Biggio said.
Biggio has taken veterans on similar trips 10 different times and said he wants to do the trips while veterans still can.
“These are our final days with the WWII generation … for those who have agreed to return to Normandy, it’s now or never,” Biggio said. “You will never forget it.”
Anyone who wants to donate to the trip can visit GoFundMe page.
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