He never did talk too much about his days in the Navy during World War II. I know he spent a lot of time at sea, delivering goods to other ships, re-fueling them, stuff like that. But he sure did share his fondness for a few movies that sparked his memories of those days...

Apparently many Navy veterans like Dad have a spot in their heart for "The Last Detail" (clearly my Pops' fave flick of all time), a 1973 comedy-drama starring Jack Nicholson and Otis Young as a pair of Navy lifers who have been ordered to bring young sailor Randy Quaid to the brig in Portsmouth.

There's lots to like in this film: all the acting is extremely convincing and scarily believable; when they decide to show the young kid one last good time before he ends up behind bars, the adventures that ensue are both hilarious and dreadful. Sorta like life itself, I guess, is the message. If you've never checked it out, you won't be disappointed as it's clearly one of the best performances Nicholson's ever given! Dad used to say that was exactly how following orders would sometimes play out...

There were two other wartime classics that Dad would never miss when they came on. One was "The Bridge On The River Kwai" (1957), a bonafide Oscar-winning classic with one of the best-supporting casts ever (Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, Telly Savalas, Donald Sutherland). Bonds are forged but they can't escape the body count.

The other one was "The Great Escape" (1963) with Steve McQueen leading a POW break-out (again, a great list of talented actors -- James Coburn, Donald Pleasence, James Garner and --hey-- there's Charles Bronson again!). A very fast-paced adventure that, in the end, reminds us all that war is indeed hell.

Thanks to all the vets out there. Since you've been there and back, maybe you can recommend some prayers and wishes for the future...

Amazing drone shots of Portland