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A 16-Year-Old Soldier On The Deck Of The USS Lexington In 1942

My grandfather lied about his age to join the Navy. I know this because he told me, and the fighting in the Pacific was very gruesome. That second part I had to find out from the history books because my grandfather never talks about the War except to say that he played a lot of poker. "I bought this house in 1948," he says. "Paid for it in cash. That's how good I was."

Sometimes after a scotch or three he will talk about the waiting, how there were plenty of battles and missiles and bomber planes, but the real terror came in the quiet, and Blackjack was the only way to stop it. In that kind of game, the only option is to hit and hit and hit because it is so hard to stand. He never says this, but I know it.

Story by:

Liz Breen

26 July 2015