The three of us met in on a base in Okinawa right before the end of the war.
Sam, always the big galoot, worked on planes that Buddy the Hick jumped out of. It was hot that July afternoon -- so sticky in fact that none of us grunts were shocked when General Barnes almost dropped dead.
For me, though, Barnes' ticker wasn't the news of the day. I learned from a Western Union telegraph that fatherhood would be soon upon me.
Needing to get behind the cork a bit, the three of us snuck into the commisary, past a few idiot MPs on lunch detail and into the closet-sized company store where a brand-spanking new bottle of Johnnie Walker Red Label was waiting for us.
I remember holding the bottle, swigging the blend, and passing it to my brothers in arms. It was my favorite moment of the war.
Buddy the Hick wanted to go into town to get a whore but I opted out. He and galoot Sam hopped a richshaw and swapped half a pack of cigarettes for a night of sin with Filipino twins.
Me? I went back to the barracks and cried like a baby, hoping I would make it out of this hellhole to raise my unborn child.