Rarely, very rarely, my grandfather will tell some stories. Usually, they're the funny ones, the ones that many in the family have heard over and over again, the ones I will never tire of hearing.
Stories of chasing a barge full of watermelons down the river through Baghdad. Or playing tank football in north Africa. Or running around the streets of Paris with a necklace made of onions.
Sometimes, when it's just me and him, he trusts the soldier in me with a little more. I'll hear a little more of the battles, of manoeuvres, of his comrades. He never tells me who fell and who came home, but some names are harder for him to mention than others. Some raise a smile, some cause the hint of a tear. But just a hint. Some manage to raise both emotions at the same time.
And me? I just listen, and wait in hope for the day when he trusts me with a little more. In between, once a year, I wear a poppy and stop to remember. It isn't much, but I know it means the world to him and to his comrades.
Those who came home, those who didn't, and those who are still doing it today.