Paul FIndley grew up in Jacksonville, Illinois in the 1930s and early '40s, and while attending Illinois College in Jacksonville he enrolled in the Naval Reserves. He began military training in January, 1943, and became a supply officer. In early 1944 he shipped out to Hawaii on the way to Eniweetok in the central Pacific and was assigned to a Seabee battalion. He spent the remainder of the war there and met his future wife, who was a nurse stationed on the tiny island. Years later, he ran for the U.S. Congress from west central Illinois, and served the 20th IL District from 1961 through 1982.