In 1935, the depth of the depression, Edward Gorman, a freshly minted Baltimore public high school graduate, unable to afford college and unwilling to settle for a dead end $11 per week warehouse job without first glimpsing at least some of the world, discovered that the army would send him to Hawaii, an exotic paradise few had any hope of ever visiting. The Old Army (pre-World War II) quickly introduced an innocent boy to life's harsh realities and began an education of quite a different kind than an 18-year-old can expect today. That first step determined the haphazard course of a full and interesting life determined largely by pure happenstance, each phase linked to the next by an unforeseen circumstance or chance meeting. Such "linkages," as he calls them, can be recognized only by hindsight, and are a theme running through this unusual book. Although we are told of certain unique occurrences in both the battle of Leyte (the retaking of the Philippines from the Japanese) and the battle of Okinawa, the last and bloodiest of World War II, this is not a war book. It is a very personal life story written in an easy style that captures the author's personality. At the same time it tells us things about America that we did not know. His American education was topped by a Masters Degree from Oxford at age 70.