When my father was 18, he was on the deck of an ocean liner (1944) crossing the Atlantic, making sure the rest of the soldiers stayed below deck for their own safety.
I was trying to make sure we had all 168 episodes of Hogan's Heroes videotaped.
He began the trek across Europe, rounding up shell-shocked German soldiers, rousting them from their foxholes and into makeshift POW camps. The first night they'd draw a line in the dirt around the camp. If any of the prisoners crossed it, they would be shot. They added barbed wire later, and eventually loaded the prisoners on train cars to be moved to more permanent camps.
I began thinking about college and how I would prepare for my career.
My uncle (now deceased), around the same age, fought his way across France a few days behind the D-Day invasion.
Up to and including today, millions of men and women gave and are giving their lives, their youth, the innocence of their minds forever stained by the horror of war, that the rest of us might live free. May we always be grateful for their service and sacrifice.