In my visits to my Grandpa, I can usually get an amazing WWII story out of him. In my last visit he told me a story of how he missed the D-Day invasion on Normandy. I believe he said that he served his basic training in Texas. While in basic training, he made a close friend that helped him through the training and how to "work the system".
One day his battalion was training with mortar shells. A soldier that was in front of my Grandpa in line accidentally put the mortar shell in backwards causing an explosion. My Grandpa was wounded in the leg from this explosion. As a result he was tranferred to Santa Ana, California where soldiers that were wounded in basic training would go to rehab before being redeployed.
While he was in rehab, his old battalion including his close friend were deployed to Europe. That batalion was one of those that stormed the beaches at Normandy on D-Day. My Grandpa's friend, including many other heroes, was killed that day. I have to believe that had my Grandpa not been wounded in basic training, he would have been at his friend's side at Normandy, and most likely would have been killed in action.
I may not be here today if it weren't for a "bone headed" mistake made by another soldier putting in a mortar shell in backwards. My Grandpa went on to serve in Europe as a counter intelligence officer and received awards for his service.