The Rifle: Combat Stories from America's Last WWII Veterans, Told Through an M1 Garand

The Rifle: Combat Stories from America's Last WWII Veterans, Told Through an M1 Garand

by Andrew Biggio


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It all started because of a rifle.

The Rifle is an inspirational story and hero’s journey of a 28-year-old U.S. Marine, Andrew Biggio, who returned home from combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, full of questions about the price of war. He found answers from those who survived the costliest war of all — WWII veterans.

It began when Biggio bought a 1945 M1 Garand Rifle, the most common rifle used in WWII, to honor his great uncle, a U.S. Army soldier who died on the hills of the Italian countryside. When Biggio showed the gun to his neighbor, WWII veteran Corporal Joseph Drago, it unlocked memories Drago had kept unspoken for 50 years. On the spur of the moment, Biggio asked Drago to sign the rifle. Thus began this Marine’s mission to find as many WWII veterans as he could, get their signatures on the rifle, and document their stories.

For two years, Biggio traveled across the country to interview America’s last-living WWII veterans. Each time he put the M1 Garand Rifle in their hands, their eyes lit up with memories triggered by holding the weapon that had been with them every step of the war. With each visit and every story told to Biggio, the veterans signed their names to the rifle. 96 signatures now cover that rifle, each a reminder of the price of war and the courage of our soldiers.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781684510795
Publisher: Regnery History
Publication date: 06/01/2021
Pages: 278
Sales rank: 3,502
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Andrew Biggio is a United States Marine Corps Infantry Sergeant and currently serves on the police force in Boston, MA. He is a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and serves as President of New England’s Wounded Veterans, Inc., a non-profit which supports wounded veterans. Biggio holds a master’s degree in Homeland Security from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Foreword xiii

Prologue xv

Introduction The Mission xix

Chapter 1 "No Such Thing as a War Crime" 1

Chapter 2 The Golden Acorn 19

Chapter 3 No Stalag 35

Chapter 4 "A Different Composition" 47

Chapter 5 Uncle Rodney 61

Chapter 6 Seventy-Two Seconds 73

Chapter 7 Raging Bull 91

Chapter 8 Man o' War 107

Chapter 9 Last-Minute Marauder 129

Chapter 10 An Italian American's War in Italy 139

Chapter 11 Two Paratroopers, One Island 149

Chapter 12 Learning to Drive 159

Chapter 13 The Running Man 167

Chapter 14 The Most Interesting Man in the World 179

Chapter 15 "I Don't Want to Go Home" 189

Chapter 16 Eighteen Hours 205

Chapter 17 Enemy Alien 219

Chapter 18 Patton's Last Panther 233

Chapter 19 Finding Andy 247

Chapter 20 Saying Goodbye 259

Acknowledgments The Rifle Signatures, the Warriors 263

Commendations 285

References 289

Index 291

About the Author 295

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