I grew up in the Bronx in New York in a wonderfully mixed neighborhood, full of Italian, Jewish, Polish, and Irish people and attended POS 89 along with all the other kids. We all walked to school together tossing a ball around and at times causing mischief, especially with a farmer and his goat along the way. Prejudice wasn't a word we know.
At eighteen, in the early forties, I enlisted in the army and began a whole new life. These are some of my most vivid memories from that time. It is about a friendship that was formed with two other soldiers who I met at Camp Wheeler by sheer coincidence; we went into combat together and became lifelong friends: one Italian, one Jewish, and the other Irish. We fought together, laughed together, cried together, and bonded. We were kids who became soldiers together and never lost the kinship we had found. Lord, how I miss them both.
England, France, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia-where else could an eighteen-year-old go free of charge, and with all his friends, too? And being on a huge passenger liner to boot ... well, there were a few problems but hey, that's the way it was.
This is dedicated to those few of us who are still here and to all who didn't make it.