My Grandpa, Francisco V Arriaga, was a Private in the United States Army during World War II. He never spoke of his days in Germany or about the war. My Grandpa enjoyed his whisky. Now knowing about PTSD, I think this might be why he “enjoyed” it so much. I remember one day tagging along with him to a local ice house that he frequented, Tito’s, that’s what my cousins and I would call it. I am not sure if that was the owner’s name or the name of the place. My Grandpa would buy us all the junk food we wanted there. I remember one day in particular. A man was standing in the corner watching my Grandpa. He came up to him and said, “it’s you. You saved my life.” He broke down in tears. Everyone was watching. Mr Grandpa kept trying to downplay and he told him to have a beer. The man went on to tell everyone that he was a prisoner of war who had been tortured for months and my Grandpa was the angel who liberated him and many other American soldiers from this camp. I was only seven years old at the time, but I will never forget it. I often wondered what my Grandpa went through. He was a hero who probably saw some terrible things and lived to tell it; unfortunately, he never said a word. He was not an open book but he was the best Grandpa, an amazing American soldier who risked his life for many. This story has never been told and it is an honor for me to be able to tell it. I love you Grandpa and thank you for your service.
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