This both sad and nice in that he helped raise the flag and got home. My Grandfather served in the Marines in WWII and was on Iwo Jima. He didn't get to raise flags. He just got some shrapnel . . .
I should have asked him more about it. He never seemed all that shy about talking about it, but he could be weirdly matter of fact. "There were some japs up in a pill box, so we killed them . . . "* I suppose that's to be expected, but it could be jarring. But I don't think I ever did because I was young and history seemed distant and inapplicable to my life. I don't think that so much anymore.
*Note: this is a quote, and I don't agree with it at all (the tone and racial aspects, not the fact that enemy soldiers may have needed killin'.) But it was exactly how they thought and talked back then.