Normally, we think about all those who fought for American ideals and dreams on Memorial Day. I can’t help but feel it more personally, too. My dad was part of The Greatest Generation, the oldest generation with any living members who fought in a World War.
He was 19 and a chemical engineering major at UW Madison in 1944, when he enlisted in the US Army. He spent his 6 weeks in boot camp, and was immediately sent to France. Two months later, he and a German soldier faced each other in a trench. The German’s bullet hit the pen in PFC Ranscht’s left breast pocket, and glanced off into his left arm, shattering the humerus. When he returned to the USA, he left his left arm in France.