So, nerd that I am, I watched a History Channel special on the Fighting Sullivans the other night.
I had certainly heard of them, and knew all about the policy that their deaths created in the military. But, I had failed to notice that they were from Waterloo, Iowa. The same town my dad is from. I have played in the park that was named for them in town.
They were almost exactly the same age as my grandpa and his brothers were during that time. They worked at the plant that my grandpa worked at. And through this whole show all I could think about is how that could have easily been my family.
My grandfather and two of his brothers were in the service (though the Army and not the Navy) though they did not insist on enlisting together. And they all did survive the war.
That family was pretty much wiped out by WWII. Only one brother had a child and the one sister was the only Sullivan to survive the war. It is amazing to think about a family of seven children with no next generation at all.
I asked my dad if his parents had known them. It turns out my grandma when on a date on a motorcycle with one of them before the war. And everyone was just shocked that I would make the connection.
I have done such a great job keeping expectations low that my family is thrilled when I can figure that people of the same age in a tiny tiny town might actually know each other. Not hard to come out a winner there.