By CBSBoston.com Staff

NORWOOD (CBS) — There was a special send-off Thursday for a 96-year-old Norwood World War II veteran on a lifelong mission. In 1944, Private Anthony Grasso was paired with Lt. Frank DuBose in Europe, when a howitzer shell hit them.

DuBose pushed Grasso out of the way, giving his life to save his partner.

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“He took the brunt of the blow,” Grasso told WBZ-TV. “And I can never forget it.”

Frank Dubose (pictured here) saved Anthony Grasso’s life while the two served during WWII. (WBZ-TV)

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Grasso is headed to South Carolina to pay his respects at DuBose’s grave. Family, friends and local officials gathered Thursday to wish him safe travels before police from several departments escorted him to the airport.

The trip is possible thanks to a GoFundMe campaign that raised more than $7,000.

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CBSBoston.com Staff