by Chris Bodenner

A reader writes:

I agree the heaping of praises on the greatest generation can get a little old.  But consider my grandfather.  Came from rural South Carolina.  After Pearl Harbor he got an operation specifically to allow himself to fight.  He was gone from my grandmother from 1941-1945.  He was in North Africa, Sicily, D Day, Battle of the Bulge.  He came back an alcoholic.  He never talked about the war except sometimes to my Dad.  And my sister said one time he told her, "You don't know what it's like to lie in an icy trench while bugs are crawling over the bodies of your friends."  I remember at the 4th of July asking him why he never would come with us to see the fireworks and he didn't say anything.  Now it makes me cry to think about it because I know they reminded him of being shelled.  He wasn't a perfect man free of prejudiced by any means.  But he and his generation did recognize that they couldn't allow a world run by Adolf Hitler.  And they sacrificed a hell of a lot for it.  For that I'll always be grateful.

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