Marco Perri, The Peril of being Short

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"My grandfather, Marco Perri, was an Italian immigrant who spoke no English when he enlisted in 1918. When Gen. John Pershing inspected his unit in France, he stopped, put his hand on my grandfather’s shoulder and said something. My 5-foot-3-inch grandfather stood proudly at attention, very pleased at this special recognition of his service, only to learn afterward that the general actually said, “Somebody get this soldier a uniform that fits him.” He later earned a Purple Heart, being gassed in the trenches of Meuse-Argonne, and received his naturalization papers at the war’s end. — Donna Lamb, New York
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