My grandfather, Jack, grew up in Manhattan, Kansas. He went to college, then veterinary school. When he finished vet school, World War II was in full swing, and in order to get your diploma, you had to enlist. So Jack enlisted. They gave him a punch card to select his interests and skills, and Jack from Kansas figured he was pretty good at swimming. But somehow, he instead punched skiing. So Jack from Kansas went to Italy with the 10th Mountain Division, a pack of mules, and twelve other first lieutenants.
The mules all died. The first lieutenants all died too. But Jack came home. He came home to a sanitarium with TB, a new wife, and a baby on the way. The Army doctors told him he wouldn't live a year. He lived 65 years. And he died yesterday. In his typical style, they told us last week that he would live two hours, and he lived eleven days.
Jack warrants no pity. But if anybody out there is raising a glass tonight, please raise it to Jack. He would like that.