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Sometimes a friend walks into your life out of nowhere, and you don't ask why. You just enjoy the company and wonder at the odd fate that brought you together. Only later do you realize that your whole life depended on it.


There are many unique and fateful aspects of my father’s service in the all-black 369th Coast Artillery Regiment during World War II. William A. Morris, Jr. brings a black soldiers perspective to the state of the American military and the nation at that time. He recalls first hand, but without bitterness, the ravaging racial prejudices at work at places like Fort Dix in New Jersey and Camp Stewart in Georgia.


But most unusual about dad's story is the tale of the little terrier that found him during the war and never left his side. From the moment Trixie padded into his life in a port village in England---just before dad shipped out to Omaha Beach---he enjoyed the company of a brave and constant companion who made the war bearable and served as a courageous little mascot for the entire company.


But Trixie accomplished much more than keeping up morale. One fine summer day in Belgium, my father and his corporal suddenly found themselves in front of three German soldiers. As it turned out, they were out-manned but not outnumbered. Thanks to Trixie's astonishing act in that moment, dad is alive to tell the story today.

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