This song was inspired by my Grandpa Gabe. At 17 he saw the attack on Pearl Harbor and like his older brothers, joined the military. There was just one problem, he wasn't old enough to enlist. He lied about his age and then went home to tell his parents about the elistment. His mother was understandably upset and told his father to take Gabe back to the recruiter and cancel the enlistment. My great-grand father thought about it and said that Gabe would have to live with his choices at some point and that he might as well start now.
Gabe was sent for basic training in San Diego, California. After arriving his uniform was stolen so when he was to form up with his group on the parade ground he wasn't in uniform. His commanding officer heard the explanation and told Gabe to go requisition another uniform. On his way to do that another officer stopped him and gave him another task. Gabe asked if he should do that first or requisition the new uniform first. The officer was so upset at the question that Gabe was sent to the brig for a week. In the brig they would remove the mattress during the day and the only thing to read was the bible. Gabe was raised a catholic but hadn't read the bible. He read the book in the week he was there and felt it was true. After his release he sought out a church and was baptized. Unfortunately, the officer that put him in the brig was still upset and simply sent Gabe into the theater of the Pacific war. He had had little to no training and found himself on the boats storming the beaches of contested islands. While he doesn't talk much about those days now, I imagine he had to grow up fast. As far as I know there was no episode described in the 4th verse but my grandpa is someone I have always looked up to, not only for his service in WWII but because he is a kind and thoughtful person. Love you grandpa!