On my dad's 17th birthday, he persuaded his mother to sign her consent and he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corp. At 17, he left the comfort of home and traveled to Germany, where he for the first time, encountered life and death in the European theatre. He came home, but he came home changed. My father-in law, in 1973, died from cancer. The cancer had grown at the site of an old wound. A wound he received when he was shot through the lung the day after we stormed Normandy Beach. His life, although spared, was changed in an instant.
My oldest brother, Andy, missed the draft by a few simple numbers. He stayed home while his friends marched away. Together, we watched those friends leave as boys, but return as men. Older boys who I, the younger sister, had idolized returned from war changed forever.
[Read the rest of the article at Parade.]