By Mary Margaret Tobin
It was Nov. 26, 1943, and Pvt. Raymond Alvarado played poker with his buddies on the HMT Rohna as it sailed along the coast of Algeria. The soldiers were relaxed. They chatted about their wives and girlfriends back home, about the smells of home-cooked Thanksgiving meals, about the comfort of a real bed.
Alvarado remembered he was dealt a good hand. “I had a dead man’s hand: aces and queens.” Little did he know that a few hours later the reality of death would be all around him.