To my grandfathers, who both fought in World War II and survived to return home and raise families.
Grandpa T was drafted by the army. He served under General Patton. He rarely talked about the war, but he did give some editorial comments when we watched the George C. Scott movie on television. Yes, he said, Patton really did stand in the open and fire his handgun at that German plane. At the time, every man under his command was hoping the crazy bastard would be shot.
Grandpa W joined the navy when he was 17 (with parental permission). He served in the Atlantic and Mediterranean theaters. He felt better about himself and his life during the war than at any time after his homecoming. His ship was later decommissioned and sunk during an atomic test in the Pacific, which seemed like a metaphor for his troubled life.
Rest in peace.