The telltale click.
MY GRANDFATHER, Private Guy Livine Wetherell, fought as a 21-year-old infantryman in the Normandy Campaign. His division, the 9th, was a veteran outfit that landed at Utah Beach on June 10,1944.
As a green replacement from the 78th Division, Wetherell was once sent to find some men from his outfit after they had gotten separated. Keeping low through the bocage country [a Norman French mix of woods, pastures, and fields divided by hedgerows], he heard a loud clicking noise behind him, turned, and began running just as a German machine-gunner opened fire on him.
The bullets kicked up dirt behind him, and the former high school basketball player leapt through a hedgerow only to land in the middle of a bunch of scared GIs who quickly pointed their weapons at him. "I'm an American!" my grandfather yelled. The soldiers turned out to be the very men he had been sent to find.
Martinsburg, West Virginia