During times of war, any comfort is appreciated greatly, the muleskinners finding it in the bond with their mules. The veteran at the grocery store tells Steve a heart-wrenching story of how he lost his beloved mule as it fell off a narrow bridge.

The mule was packed down with gear and fell into the river. He describes how the mule’s legs were flailing, the mule falling in space and being washed down the river by the strong current. Helpless, there was nothing he could do.

By this time, both the WWII veteran and Steve are crying a river in the store, as the man continues telling Steve how tough it was.

This veteran survived quite the ordeal. Merrill’s Marauders started with 3,000 men and ended with fewer than 200, after their last battle at Myitkyina. The unit received a golden citation from President Roosevelt.