...all gave some, some gave all...
They truly were just kids. My Dad was in ROTC in college because he needed the little scholarship money he got from it and was commissioned as a second lieutenant upon graduation. He landed at Normandy as a 21 year old captain commanding an artillery company his age or younger. I remember a few times one of us asking about what he had seen. My mom would look over quickly, stare us in the eye and just shake her head.Most were just “kids” facing a well fortified shore. What they accomplished is amazing and humbling. Part of The greatest generation for sure.
by june of 1944, my dad had been flying combat missions in the S Pacific and China sea for over 3 years. i have photos of the planes he manged to bring back, shot to pieces. much is made over D day but not much is ever written or exposed about the carnage in the S Pacific. part of that is just how terrible the war with Japan was playing out. did you know that 8-9% of the military captured by the Germans did not make it. the military captured by the Japenese, 35-40% never made it. and as i mentioned at some point, the single island invasion of Iwo Jima cost more lives than on all the beaches of Normandy. and consider there were hundreds of islands that had to be captured. you won't read much about this but it all happened. malaria, yellow fever and terrible camp conditions faced all of those who were in the S Pacific. my dad, NEVER talked about any of this. killing people was not a topic of discussion.