My parents were part of that so-called greatest generation. My mom’s yearbook said “definitely for the Navy.” And Andy was the reason. He served in North Africa and the Pacific, where he was the lone survivor of a plane shot down. He never talked much about the war, like many veterans. But at the end of his life, he said “I’m not sure those guys were my personal enemies.” As a German American with some Jewish heritage, things were complex for the family. Dad said that one of the prisoners they took had our surname, and he always wondered how they were related.
I don’t have any profound things to say about war. I just want my dad, who’s no longer with us, to know that I remember his service.