He is working to repair damage caused by a piece of metal, lodged in the intestines of a wounded Marine, near the slopes of Mount Tapotchau, on the tiny island of Saipan.
And sixty-five years later, here I am, writing from the comfort of a hotel in a world whose marvels, luxuries, and horrors neither of those men would have imagined. But both of them, my wounded grandfather and the Navy medical corpsman who stabilized him to a point where he could be shipped home, made the world in which I write this possible. Made me possible.
It's a day early for patriotic appeals, but it's a personally significant one so I'll make it anyway. I donated to Disabled American Veterans today, in memory of my grandfather for soldiers and marines whose wounds, unlike his, may never heal.
At the very least, tomorrow while you're at the beach or the barbecue or enjoying the holiday, think of the people who made it possible, and are still making it possible here and now.