WWII Heroes, Poker & Life Lessons



Over the past several years, Monday nights have become a favorite of mine as we gather together at a neighbor’s house to play poker.  Now, if I am going to lose on a regular basis, I couldn’t think of more deserving men to give away my hard earned cash than to 4 heroes: 3 World War II Veterans and retired police officer.  As pictured from left to right, Mel: a former Marine who fought in the Battle of Okinawa,  Bruce: who served to protect the citizens of Baltimore during his years on patrol,  Carmen: who won a Purple Heart for his bravery during the Battle of Anzio, and Rene: who fought in the Battle of Dunkirk, (the subject of a recent motion picture). 

Below are several observations learned in my poker games with these heroes.

  1. Heroes don’t talk about themselves & shy away from the spotlight.   (During poker games, it took a lot of prodding for each of these men to talk about their heroic acts).
  2. Heroes are brutally honest.  (Each of these players ensures that the game is played above board and no cheating occurs).
  3. Heroes are kind & empathetic. (When I customarily “lose my shirt” after playing poker, these heroes are genuinely kind and offer solace & comfort).
  4. Heroes have incredible poker faces. (That’s probably why I always lose)!     Michael Miller, MD is Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland USA.  He has conducted numerous research studies aimed at improving heart health and covered in his book:  “Heal Your Heart: The Positive Emotions Prescription to Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease“.


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