Perhaps it sounds odd to those who live in a more urban world, but guns are always a nice Christmas gift in West Virginia, a meaningful way to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child and to recognize peace on earth and good will to all. (Aside: Love may be fleeting, but a good firearm is forever.)
In that spirit, son Tim saw a nice M1 Garand rifle at a gun show a couple of weeks ago, and purchased it as a Christmas gift for his Pap (LaJ's father). Pap is a Marine veteran of WWII. The family gathered at No. 3 today (family includes some with no genetic or marital connection, but they are family nonetheless) for dinner, gifts and peace. One senior there was Jim Moon, an elder brother so close to me that it's hard to describe the relationship. Jim is an Army Korean veteran. Pap unwrapped the rifle, and the years vanished. He held it and operated it as you and I would a keyboard, passed it over to Jim, who did likewise. They talked quietly about being able to strip it and reassemble it blindfolded, and just a hint of where they had carried its twin, Pap through surf in the Pacific and Jim at a seawall in a place called Inchon. Who says there's no time machine? I saw one work today.
National policy notwithstanding, those of us with no military background see nothing but glimpses of that part of these guys' lives.