My bout with religion started in kindergarten at age 5 and continued through grade school. At times, the attacks were fostered and encouraged by my teacher, Miss Gruber. In later years, it was determined that she was a member of the German-American Bund.
Most of my questions about religion and the hatred it bred as I matured were never answered.
My stressful life to survive the Great Depression was followed by World War II. I earned a Silver Star for engaging in five (5) major battles, including the Normandy Beaches and Battle of the Bulge -- the two most memorable for Americans and the world.
The brunt of anti-semitism that dogged me in the Army, forced me into an anti-religion confrontation. As a result, I coined a phrase, 'If you believe in prayer, pray that religion doesn't kill you.' When Will It End.
I received General Patton's gift to the 5th Infantry Division, of which I was a part, for a bloody job well done, after taking the City of Rheims -- never before divulged to the public.
Through the war, the warmth I felt that helped diminish the fear, the death, the constant horror, was the girl I left behind while not knowing if she would have me when I came home. Our seven-year relationship finally found us at the altar -- not without insurmountable circumstances that we managed to conquer.