Today’s OSS: Bigger, Badder, Meaner, Persistent, Pervasive

My great-grandfather was a Jedburg in WWII who parachuted behind enemy lines well before D-Day in 1944. A sly, wiry Italian immigrant who later built a small business outside Washington, DC.

“Mac” chain-smoked all his life, and it didn’t seem to bother his health, or at least not so anyone noticed. He passed on well into his 80s, not once complaining about what bothered him. Mac’s philosophy was like my Pops’: ya see somethin’ that needs doin’, just do it and move on to the next somethin’.

Pops told me about some of Mac’s exploits in WWII, cuz Pops worked for Mac at his package store when in high school. To say that Mac was a badass is understating things a bit. He spoke of men and women from all manner of life and class who volunteered to fight evil (read: Nazis and Axis allies). Some were farm boys from Nebraska, others Wall Street attorneys, Hollywood actors and actresses (Marlene Dietrich, e.g.), surgeons and nurses, cops and robbers, Mafia hit men.

Yup, the OSS employed anyone who could get the job done.

We’re just hearing about the OSS cuz the CIA kept them and their records under wraps for decades.

I now wonder what my granddaughter will read about when the CIA and other clandestine services release their records about today’s spies.

One item is for certain: we will learn that the modern-day OSS bloomed into an extensive international network of spies from every sector of society and walk of life, and they enjoyed the richest of lives and lifestyles, and came to our emotional rescue.