I never knew my mother's father (above, 2nd from the right). He passed away before I was born. And most of the stories I grew up hearing about him turned out to be false.
But he did lose an eye while fighting for Japan during World War II. He was stationed in the Philippines, ironically where my father's father (below) was fighting ... for America. They might have been shooting at each other.
I came real close to not existing.
Then again, because of World War II, the United States put American military bases all over Japan. My parents met because my father served in the Navy in my mother's hometown.
No matter how you look at it, I'm lucky I'm here.