…seventy years ago, my dad was riding in a tank into a village called Mirfield, (Belgium?). He and his fellow soldiers were off to clear the village of Germans. Although at first there was no evidence of the enemy, shortly they appeared, and there was some contact that went on. This is towards the end of the Bulge. Division 1 was Richard’s unit of combat. Their job was to clean out any remnants of enemy soldiers, lurking in the abandoned buildings, on the landscape. As I sit in the comfort of my home in the 21st century, I reflect upon the pain and discomfort Richard had to endure during war. In his entry of this day, he talks about the bitter cold temperatures they had to sleep in, in barns, and sties, where they unknowingly awoke to melting pig shit beneath them. He speaks at one point of his battle with diarrhea, during combat, and how he would have to relieve himself every 15 minutes, which entailed jumping out of a fox hole to a barn in the midst of German threat in the air. If he did not take care of this duty, the alternative was soiling his pants and there would be no replacement for his clothing. Yet he describes this event with comic relief as his rushing in and out of the hole provided amusement for his fellow comrades. This description reveals an aspect of our author, I saw many times in his life and that was his unabashed willingness to relinquish his pride in dire situations of necessity. He was always willing to gamble with his dignity when it meant giving himself wholly to another person, even if he became the butt of someone else’s laughter. Bearing his soul at all cost was something people really loved about him. I think it has to do with his place in growing up. With regards to the war, the whole package of obstacles, physical and emotional begin to add up, and in our mind should conjure an unimaginably dismal state of existence to live in, although, I am sure there are worse. The remarkable side to all this, are the words Richard uses to describe this time in his life. He had an incredible will to endure and survive, whatever came his way, and he did this with deep faith, with hopes for a positive outcome. He was an eternal optimist, a true Don Quijote. An example for all of us, who feel down in the dumps, and think there is no way out. In reading Richard’s words, one can find, there is always room to dream.