Cleo Haehn did not give his life in World War II.
He was not wounded.
Haehn's sacrifice for his country came in another way.
After he was drafted in 1943, Haehn served less than a year of training in the United States before being shipped out to France. During that year he missed the death of his mother and the birth of his son.
He was given three days leave to return home for his mother's funeral.
He did not see his son until he returned from Europe in 1945.
While he was in France, Haehn spent his spare time on the second floor of a Le Havre schoolhouse. He practiced his reading and writing, but not in French. He didn't need to learn a lot of the language, but there were some words of necessity like s'il vous plait ('if you please', or just 'please') and bonsoir ('good night').
The things he could do with English were more important. Haehn spent much of his time in the school writing to his wife, Doris Pearl. They had been married on Oct. 9, 1941. "I wrote pret' near every day," he said.
He also wrote to his son, David. One postcard postmarked in Paris read, "To my pride and joy, my son. The best little fellow that ever lived and your daddy loves you. Take good care of mommy, won't you. Your daddy will be home to you soon."
And he received regular correspondence back. "I couldn't wait to get 'em," he said.
That was the only contact he would have for more than a year.
"I had a son born Dec. 12, 1943," he said. "I didn't see him until he was walking."
The war ended for Haehn on V-E Day on May 8, 1945. David was 17 months old.
"It was wonderful," Haehn said. "I was thinking, 'I'm going home to see my boy."