For four years, my dad wore this Army Air Corps patch on his uniform, along with thousands of other young men drafted into military service. The only son of an Iowa farmer, he left behind a lot of work for my grandfather.

Times had been tough. They’d lost a farm during the Depression and earned it back through diligence and perseverance. Dad went from driving a team of draft horses through the fields to training in Washington, D.C. And then to North Africa and beyond.

But during World War II, you went when you were called. And you served as long as you were needed. It’s difficult to imagine how much the victory won in Europe meant to these soldiers, sailors, and airmen.