Americans are good at telling war stories; yet there aren’t many worth telling since World War II. We’ve spilt a lot of blood since then — little of it righteous. Most war stories from the second war to end all wars don’t spark my patriotism — which is deep, and quiet, like my grandfather’s.
A war story with a person attached to it affects me differently. Like my grandfather’s. Someone who put down their civilian life, strove extraordinarily to do a job that needed to be done, and with great equanimity either went into a hole in the ground or returned to their day-by-day. That’s the archetype that reminds me to help America become a place worthy of the sacrifices they made; with no expectation of glory or reward, but simply because the job was there to do. Like my grandfather.