My Uncle Buzz fought in Italy during WWII. He made it out in one piece. When he got home, the CCC was waiting for him and he helped build most of the infrastructure in Central Maine. He passed a fews years back, but while he was alive, my daughter worshiped him on Veteran's Day. She would color him a picture and just loved him. He was a crusty curmudgeon but melted under my daughter's influence.
My father, who was too young for the first one and too old for the second one, was also part of the infrastructure building and helped build a dam, by hand, on Rt. 100 in Burnam shortly after the war. While on the job, he developed a friendship with a rather large individual who knew how to split big, unruly rocks - my dad asked him, "Big Eddie, how do you split those big rocks so easy?", Big Eddie told him - "Where I learn to do that, you don't get no pay".
I always remember that story. My Dad has been gone for 24 years, Uncle Buzz - 10. Time flies whether you are having fun or not. Miss those guys.