Surviving the Battle of the Bulge

By: Ian Margol Email
By: Ian Margol Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. The grand valley has the distinct privilege of being home to a significant number of veterans, and each of them has their own unique set of experiences.

The Battle of the Bulge has become known as one of the most costly battles of all time in terms of casualties for the United States... and for one retired Grand Junction doctor, the memories of the war are all too real.

"As we were advancing into Germany we came to this intersection and there was it looked like a German soldier propped up there with a gun," says Dr. Joseph Merrill. "He was already dead but you didn't know that 'til you got up to it."

Merrill was a part of the Army Medical Corps in the 99th Infantry Division.

He was discharged in June 1946 and moved to Grand Junction four years later, becoming the first board-certified general surgeon in the area and even performing the first chest surgery at St. Mary's Hospital.


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