This is my Dad during World War II. Obviously, he was in the Navy. He was seventeen when he joined, after first having to get a note from his mother (!) and put on some weight. He served in the Battle of the North Atlantic.
Only in the past few years has he talked about those days -- spending an entire watch (four hours) chipping ice off the ship. Socks that never dried. Sleeping with the torpedoes because the mess was too crowded and noisy (!!!). Waking up on a park bench in Edinburgh the day after VE day, and after walking into a police station and giving them his pay so he wouldn't blow it all.
These are the little stories of the war in terms of the "big picture," but they are big stories to me. I was proud to follow my Dad's footsteps and join the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve when I, too, was seventeen.