At an early age boys look to their fathers for a role model. Failing that, there are other figures who walk in and out of our lives - like grandfathers, uncles, older brothers or teachers, even film actors - and leave an indelible mark on us.
Most boys haven't a clue what direction they want to take, and rely on others to direct their minds. Some - precious few - don't feel they need a role model, but still look at more senior figures to judge whether they're going in the right direction.
I looked to a number of adult males for direction, starting with my Dad. He must have done something right, having progressed 'at the sharp end' through the Middle East via North Africa, Sicily and Italy with just a wound to the arm - narrow, that. It was a sniper's bullet, and just an '-nth' in the other direction could have spelt curtains for him.