My brother sent me a link to a tremendous story about heroes, PBS, "History Detectives Help Return Soldiers Diary To Vietnamese Family".
The story reminded me about asking our father what among all his WWII memories he felt most positive. He told the story of one night digging his foxhole and remembering a barn not too far away. He went alone to the barn looking for some straw to line his foxhole. He found some, slung his rifle on his back, and filled his arms with straw.
While leaving the barn, two German soldiers came up to him. They had their rifles ready. Dad thought he was dead. But the Germans had something else on their minds. Seeing him, they indicated they wanted to surrender. They couldn’t speak English and he couldn’t speak German. Dad gestured for them to follow him back to the American lines.
They all made it back to his unit. Dad must have convinced his buddies that the Germans were surrendering and not to shoot them. That’s what our father remembered as being most positive about his war… to this day I am so honored to have had Dad in my life. He was a hero in so many ways - like the men and women in the PBS History Detectives story.