I liked the narrative that Sandlin used in this. The way he described the porcelain tiger and the significance of mementos was an interesting way to start the story. He explains how he views the war; the way he describes it paints a picture and really stood out to me. "My war was a dreamy, gliding epic, a golden tidal wave of eternally cresting triumph..."
It's so true that anytime someone mentions WW2, the same few events are always brought up. No specific stories, maybe because they are too painful. I know anytime the war was brought up around my grandpa who fought in it, he clammed up and became this silently irate person. To him, talking about the war was like reopening a wound that had been healed. This made me wonder, what is it about a journalist that allows them to talk to war veterans and have them respond so candidly? There has to be some component of their personality that makes a war vet so willing to expose such a painful part of their past.