Rob Small and father

Corporal Len H. Small, with son Rob, in Newport, R.I., during World War II.

During World War II, he was dispatched to the safest places on Earth: Little Rock, Ark.; Williamsburg, Va.; and Newport, R.I., where he taught democratic values to prisoners of war.

At 30, in Army basic training, he was considered the “old man’’ among the teenaged trainees who reportedly felt so sorry for him, they helped him out.

And yet.....

He didn’t have to go; he was too old and had a family. He could have sat it out.

In fact, he even cheated on the eye examination, memorizing the letters to be read, so he could get in.

And, at that time, anyone in uniform could have been sent anywhere on a moment’s notice. He knew that.

Nor did he try to get in as a lofty legal officer (he was a lawyer), choosing the role of the lowly private.

Nor did he ever boast or brag about his service, any more than he boasted about any of his achievements.

Happy Veterans Day, Dad.

Thank you for your service.

Tom and Rob Small

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