The Fighting Grossmans
This is an synopsis from Bob Dotson’s American Story. It is the amazing story of an American family that had eight brothers serving at the same time. This is a story of our greatest generation. We hope you enjoy this article.
Carl is the young handsome man flanked by Tom Hanks and Tom Brokaw.
When the eight Grossman brothers left to serve the nation in World War II, their mother’s advice was simple: come home. “ ‘Somebody’s gotta come back,’ she said. ‘It might as well be you.’ “ And every one of them did.
Now at age 90, Carl Grossman is the last of the family’s homegrown battalion. As an Army medic, he fought in 19 Pacific battles. His plane crashed - twice. When it was all over, he returned home, only missing a tooth.
Six more Grossmans also took to the battlefields. Mickey built the ship he later served on and defended as Japanese suicide pilots tried to sink it. Another brother was a bomber pilot who roomed with none other than silver screen legend Clark Gable.
In Germany, there was a Grossman to help liberate a POW camp. As the prisoners were freed, he not only welcomed home fellow soldiers, but also a friend who hailed from his own Pittsburgh neighborhood.
Leonard was a cryptographer, and served in Europe and North Africa. He came home a wounded warrior and faced dozens of operations.
Two brothers who were too old to enlist served their country on the homefront; one as a police officer, and the other as part of a top secret project – the first atomic bomb.
The Grossman family’s sacrifices and service was noticed at the highest levels. President Roosevelt personally wrote a letter to the boys’ parents. Now, Carl is the last surviving brother and he’s still fighting. As a greeter at Wal-Mart, Carl is working well past what is typically considered retirement age. After the war, he began selling cars and did so for 51 years until the American auto industry collapsed. Carl’s finances crumbled as well.
His wife still makes him a lunch to take to work. He commutes 35 miles a day, his American Dream of retirement is just that; a dream. Still, Carl grins as he says, “But it doesn’t bother me. I’m glad to work. It’s good for my mind.”
To read more about this American Story and others by Bob Dotson, check out his book here.