32525625: Memoirs of a Soldier Without a Rifle, Stanley Saft as told to Stuart Saft, 2016
Stanley Saft, a self-described ‘skinny, near-sighted kid from Lafayette Avenue in Brooklyn’ conveys the story of an amazing life in conversations with his son, my younger daughter Molly’s father-in-law. Enlisting in the Army after Pearl Harbor, Stanley experiences basic training and lands on Omaha Beach as a member of the 576th Ambulance Company. He supports the wounded and evacuates the dead through France, Belgium (surviving the Battle of the Bulge in harrowing circumstances), and finally Germany liberating camps in Austria. He describes his experiences in a straightforward and low key manner, refusing to cast himself as a hero despite winning numerous medals including a Silver Star and the French Legion of Honor and rising to the highest NCO rank of Staff Sergeant. The final chapters tell of his post-war life as a businessman, pillar of the Jewish community, father, husband, grandfather, and great-grandfather. The best news is that Stanley and his wife of 73 years, Dottie, remain healthy and hearty in Boca Raton, FL. It’s a marvelous tale, inspiring and sobering in these times. Hurrah for Stanley and the Greatest Generation.