Most of my Grandfather's history as a soldier I know from my own reading about his division or by piecing things together that others in the family have told me over the years. Granddaddy really never talked much about his own wartime experiences. I once asked him about a fellow in the division who was killed in a training accident, and all my grandfather said was that he had been very close by when it happened, that they had been friends, and then the subject was changed. Somehow, I knew, even at the age of six or seven, that this was something he preferred not to discuss, and I didn't bring the subject up again.
Once, when I was about 22, with very long, puffy 80s hair, Granddaddy and I were out together running errands for my grandmother. We stopped by a local supermarket bakery to pick up a cake she had ordered, and the lady behind the counter at one point said to my grandfather, "Well, Grandpa, what do you think of his hair?" Pausing for a beat or two, my grandfather chuckled quietly and replied, "Oh, let's just talk about Jesus," which elicited laughter from all three of us.
Granddaddy and I remained close until the day he died in July 2006, the night before my wife and I returned home from our honeymoon. Not a day goes by that he doesn't cross my mind at some point.