“I’ll take any semi-automatic rifle any day of the week over a bolt action and twice on Sunday”.
That’s what my husband told me when I confessed my love to him of the Mauser M98 bolt action. The discussion ensued, and we were not discussing hunting. We were discussing war. Our passion for rifles and history leads to much studying, research, and conversation. Neither of us has served in war, but the conversation, thankfully, extends beyond the theoretics of our living room to those who have the first-hand experience to tell it how it is, or was. Speaking with veterans is an opportunity neither of us will ever turn down. Our veterans, after all, are our heroes.
It has been my honor to personally listen to tales of heroism and horror from World War II vets with experiences ranging from retrieving the bodies of their fallen comrades on Utah Beach to fighting in the Battle of the Bulge. I have watched one of the Chosin Few wipe tears from his face as he divulged to me a small part of his experience in Korea. My friend and firearms instructor, a Vietnam Marine, shared with me the day he almost died (and now celebrates annually). Purple Heart recipients from our recent wars in the Middle East have revealed acts of horror impossible to comprehend without experiencing them firsthand. And in addition to Americans heroes, I have also heard first-hand from those who served in the Axis militaries.
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