"We won because we were the smoking and drinking generation," grinned 83-year-old Joseph Patrick Walsh, who was part of the "miserable, cold" Normandy invasion. He spent 32 years in the Navy and fought in Vietnam, and lived for years on Staten Island and the Upper West Side. He showed off the tattoo of a leering Japanese soldier on his arm, and another tattoo with his wife's name and a bar of ink where his wife made him take out "Margie," an earlier girlfriend's name.*If Mr. Walsh is correct, then the American policy of discouraging smoking at home while helping tobacco companies force their way into foreign markets could have hitherto unanticipated consequences for compromising American miltary supremacy.
* The same strategy of splotchy erasure might end up happening with my "Mirah" tattoo if she doesn't soon realize that we were meant to be together (see previous posts here and here).