Willie was born, full-grown, during the Italian campaign.
He needed a shave and his clothes hung in weary folds on his weary frame. Even on his day of creation, his thick fingers were curved, as though from grasping a pick handle or an M-1 rifle. He did not smile then and he has never smiled since.
Willie was born into the 45th Infantry Division, where his creator, Private Bill Mauldin, also served. Willie had a sidekick, Joe. Together Willie and Joe slogged from Italy to Germany.
Willie and Joe were citizen soldiers. Before their incarnation, they had presumably been peaceful citizens. Now...