Many years back, I remember a little old scotsman in a nice kilt. Every year he attended the local Robert Burns Night dinner. (Burns Night is a Scottish thing - with pipes, haggis and scotch wisky). Anyway this old guy always seemed to be in a good mood. So old, so frail and yet so happy. Each year they introduced him as the oldest Scot in the room. They also said that he had been a machineguner in the trenches of WWI fighting for King and Country. As a student of WWI history I understand that the average life expectancy of a combat machinegunner in WWI was measured in hours if not minutes. At the last Burns night he attended they announced that our WWI vet was then 100 years old. Everyone cheered and clapped. He got up slowly with a big smile and a little wave of his hand. The next year they announced that he had passed away and there was a moment of silence. It's easy to see why he always showed up in a good mood, he cheated death in the trenches and lived to be 100! Such a charmed life.
So every Robert Burns Night and - at other times when I think about it - I drink a shot for him. And one more for those who never came back.