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"My father went to fight on behalf of “American freedom” in World War II and returned home shell-shocked and hopelessly addicted to alcohol. I remember my mother telling me of how she would pray every night — to no avail — that his drunken tantrums would cease. He drank a full bottle of whiskey or Scotch every day from 1945 until 1980. He stopped drinking a year before he died, but by then his body was too wrecked to salvage."

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