He joined the Coast Guard in 1943. He was only 17.
His mission: support the European Theatre off the coast of North Africa.
There's an old Coast Guard expression:
"You have to go out; but you don't have to come back."
He made it back, the worse for wear. Grateful—and perhaps even surprised—to be alive.
He never spoke of his experiences. Perhaps that's just as well.
But he could not hide the pure boyish joy he must have felt
"The Day the War Ended".