“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,” the Savior declared. Jenn’s grandpa was a machine gun operator for the U.S. Marine Corps when he met the young man who would save his life.
Her grandpa called him Kurt, and he had joined illegally—he wasn’t yet 18. Kurt had a difficult time keeping up with the other men in training exercises and the group would be punished as a result. They disliked him for it. However, Kurt had at least one friend in Jenn’s grandpa, with whom he developed a brother-like bond.
In the midst of a tense battle that lasted days, Jenn’s grandpa and his squad took a moment to rest and eat. Sitting in a circle, the squad members suddenly heard the whine of a grenade at their feet. Without hesitation, Kurt covered the grenade with his body. He was mortally wounded, but none of his squad members were killed.
“Grandpa held Kurt in his arms,” Jenn explains. “As Kurt was dying, he looked and Grandpa and he said, ‘Do you think they’ll accept me now?’”
Jenn and her family consider themselves indebted to the Kurt for their own lives. Out of respect for his sacrifice, in recent years the family searched for any information on Kurt’s history. They discovered that he was the youngest son in a Swedish immigrant family. They also discovered that his real name was Oscar.
“Oscar is our hero, and we are so grateful that we were able to find the man and the family who saved our family. It really is a hero’s story,” says Jenn.
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