Seventy-one years ago, a young soldier left his World War II ambulance in a vehicle “graveyard” in Germany and returned home to Wisconsin. Last year, he found that ambulance in Albuquerque.

#hashtags: #Thomas Grasser #Europe #World War II #Grasser #Albuquerque #Kenosha #Wisconsin #California

Thomas Grasser, 91, was visiting the New Mexico Museum of Military History last summer when he realized the museum’s ambulance was his “home on wheels” in Europe during World War II.Grasser lives in Albuquerque now, but he grew up in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The Army drafted him just  six days after high school in June of 1943, and although he didn’t know how to drive, he was designated as an ambulance driver and trained in California.Grasser finished basic training at the end of 1943 and shipped out to England at the beginning of 1944.The invasion of France on D-Day had begun. About three weeks later, Grasser and his unit landed on Omaha Beach.When the strafing planes came to the ambulances, they pulled up and stopped shooting until they were back over supply trucks. The pilots “respected the red cross” on the ambulances, he said.