I’m going to break precedent and provide some context on the next three stories you will read.
They were all told by a 93 year old man named Ralph. All I knew about Ralph prior to our interview was that he had served in the Armed Forces.
When I sat down to interview Ralph, and before I could say anything, he said, “So you write stories of people’s lives?”
“Well I’ve had an extremely interesting life and I’ve gone through an awful lot of things. The most interesting six years were the time I served in the Marine Corps. I went into the Marine Corps before World War II began and I got out after the war was over. During those six years I was subjected to every possible thing mankind could think of…”
At the end of our two hour interview I asked Ralph for a photo. He reached into his pocket, pulled out military badges and said, “Do you want to take a picture of my purple heart?”
“You have a purple heart and you didn’t mention it until now?” I exclaimed. “What if I hadn’t asked to take a picture? Would you have failed to mention that you had earned a purple heart?”
Ralph shrugged in his easy going way. “Maybe.”
I wrote two stories about Ralph and I’m working on the third. It was a true honor to interview an American war hero and the stories he told me are nothing short of fascinating.
I hope you all enjoy.