When World War II broke out and the draft started to take the boys from Lake County the Balen Family was hit pretty hard. They were a large family of nine children, five boys and four girls. Four of the brothers; Mike, Nick, John and Matt were drafted to serve their country in Europe and Japan. The eldest son Steve was the only one not drafted. Maybe because he needed to stay and care for his infant daughter, or maybe because his Dad told his friend at the induction center that if he took his last son he’d be back for a not so friendly visit. Either way, somehow Steve’s draft notice never came.