WINTHROP, MASS. (WHDH) - A local man is working to give four World War II veterans one last trip to the area they helped save.

Andrew Biggio, president of New England Wounded Veterans, is raising funds for the trip to Normandy and Belgium after making earlier trips with other veterans. Biggio is a Marine Corps veteran and said he feels a special connection with those who served in World War II.

“It’s been a great bond, as a young veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, to bond with the oldest generation of vets right on their battlefields in Europe,” Biggio said.

It will be the first time returning to old battlegrounds for some of the veterans, including Marvin Gilmore of Cambridge, who served in a segregated unit that stormed Utah Beach at Normandy. Robert Herugue fled to Winthrop from France in 1939 before becoming a U.S. paratrooper, and has never been back to his drop zone.

John Althuizen was a Dutch resistance fighter who joined the U.S. Army right before the Battle of the Bulge. He will officially get a long-overdue Purple Heart in a ceremony on the trip, Biggio said.

Biggio has taken veterans on similar trips 10 different times and said he wants to make the journeys while veterans still can.

“These are our last days with the World War II generation … for those that agreed to go back to Normandy, this is the time that’s now or never,” Biggio said. “They’ll never forget it.”

Anyone looking to donate to the trip can visit its GoFundMe page.

(Copyright (c) 2022 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox