Regarding the Murmansk run during WWII...
"We had a 25% fatality rate on each voyage, so the only way to keep enough officers to man the ship was to guarantee that they'd advance in rank after one voyage. I was 3rd mate on my first trip, 2nd on the second trip. One year after I graduated, I was chief mate. I was captain by the time I was 24, and had been torpedoed twice by then. Now, kids are whining that they can't handle the stress of paying their credit cards on time. Pussies."
This is the conversation I had while sitting in my doctor's waiting room this morning. The vet in question, sitting next to me, commented on my shirt, which bears the outline of a tanker in profile. What followed was a 10 minute conversation that had the entire waiting room in complete silence.
The guy was awesome. He absolutely did not give a shit about anything mundane, which is as it should be, when one has run through the gauntlet at an early age.