Muse inspirations: various military figures in fiction and real history; military friends and relatives I know I know in real life
Joseph Simonovich Green (born 'Йосип Симонович Зеленко') is a Ukranian Jew originally from the 'Pale of Settlement' city of Kiev, Ukraine. In 1906, he and his family fled to the Eastern European Jewish-dominated neighborhood of Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, New York, in order to escape the anti-Semite riots that followed after the fall of the Russian Empire.
A foreigner in a Gentile land, he Anglicized his name to 'Joseph Simon Green' as a way to assimilate faster. He didn't venture much into other parts of New York City, as he felt most at home with his fellow Ashkenazi Jews in Brooklyn. He felt at ease cultivating his love for automobiles in the neighborhood, where he can work away from all the riots and political revolutions.
He is a highly skilled mechanic both in civilian and military life. He was a Marine veteran of WWI before switching to the Reserves. He also served as a member of the New York Naval Militia. Joseph soon became well-known in Brighton Beach for his trade. On his free time, he'd work on fixing other people's cars for enjoyment.
Things went well for the young mechanic: his small business flourished, he married a nice Jewish lady, and he finally felt more at home in the Big Apple. Yet the American Dream ended too soon for Joseph, as the stock market crashed, affecting the profits of his business. All throughout the Great Depression, Joseph struggled to keep his business alive. Unfortunately, he had to shut it down.
He had a small period of success when the New York Naval Militia and USMC Reserves got activated in World War II. He worked as an Engineer Equipment Mechanics, repairing military vehicles and helping to maintain them for the Allied Forces. His family prospered for a short time until the war ended. Joseph failed to find a decent job upon his return home; the only thing that kept his family from being homeless was the G.I. Bill he received after the war.
Joseph worked several odd jobs, desperate to do anything to keep his family afloat. He still had hopes of restarting his auto shop business. He wished to pass it on to his only son, Eugene, of whom he shared a passion for cars with.