When my daughter asked me to write of my war experiences,
which would eventually end up as a Website, I undertook
the task with reluctance. I have no intention of glorifying
my status in the military. I was merely a journeyman soldier
forced into a situation, not to my liking. Yes, I did serve
in a combat area for over four years. Yes, I participated in
two invasions. Yes, I witnessed the horror of Dachau. And yes, I am also a survivor.
It is now over 50 years since I doffed my uniform, but the
memories of my wartime experiences remain firmly etched within
my mind. If I may philosophize, since time immemorial, wars
have been fought, and I firmly believe they will be fought far
into the future. War is evil, war is inhumane, and war is degrading.
Over the thousands of years, countless millions of people, both
military and civilians have been massacred and we smugly term
ourselves as being civilized.
The year is 1941. I am a modest, unassuming individual, not overly
aggressive, yet, I am drafted into this situation because the United
States is at war and a "man has to do what a man has to do." I am
issued a uniform, a rifle and I am taught to kill. I am taught to
burrow into the ground like an animal. I am taught to undergo countless
indignities. I see death in all its horror and it no longer bothers
me, because now this modest, unassuming individual, not overly
aggressive individual, has been mind-altered into a "mean, lean
Finally, the war ends, and after a short period of battle trauma,
I again revert to a modest, unassuming individual, not overly
aggressive individual. Darwin was right, we do represent the "survival
of the fittest." In order that we survive, we must be the superior
animal and unfortunately war is the means to attain this end. It
is a sad commentary on humanity, but the act of conflict is ingrained
within the psyche of the human race. I have experienced it firsthand.