From 1916 to 1918 my father was in the 8th U.S. Cavalry (2nd Lt.George Patton's assignment) stationed at Fort Bliss Texas. He was stricken with the dreaded Spanish Flu in the epidemic in the fall of 1918. My father and a number of soldiers who were also sick with the flu were transported by rail back to the Fort Sam Houston Army Hospital in San Antonio. As he lay in bed, he said he saw five and six dead soldiers who died of the flu being rolled out of his hospital ward every day. The army doctors finally gave him a medical discharge and said he could go home and die.
He felt well enough after being released from the hospital to hitch-hike from San Antonio to Orange Texas and got a job in the ship yards. After about six months, that job got tiresome so he got a job on a coastal freighter. He sailed along the coast to Virginia where the freighter started taking on water in a heavy storm and began to founder. The crew was saved by a U.S. Coast Guard cutter named the USS Brilliant. He "rode the rails" with ho-bos back to Texas and married my mother in 1920.
By a strange coincendence, the British destroyer HMS Brilliant saved my oldest brother and several hundred soldiers of the 66th Infantry Division on Christmas Eve 1944 after the HMS Leopoldville troopship was torpedoed and sunk off the coast of Cherborg, France with the loss of 802 men.