The Christy Collection

Incredible Military Stories 

Service Reflections of OS1 Chris Walgenbach,  U.S. Navy (2004-Present)

Service Reflections of OS1 Chris Walgenbach, U.S. Navy (2004-Present)

Since many in my family were prior military, and specifically, the Navy, I knew that’s what I would do. I would hear my grandfather’s sea stories about WWII in school for Veteran’s Day and listen to my father talk about his time as a Sailor during the Vietnam War. Later I would find out about various uncles (and an aunt or two, no doubt) that had a military career (whether short or long), which further solidified my decision.

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Service Reflections of SSgt Walter Rivera, U.S. Marine Corps (1981-1997)

Service Reflections of SSgt Walter Rivera, U.S. Marine Corps (1981-1997)

I come from a military family on both sides-mom & dad. Uncles that served in the Navy [Korea], Army [Vietnam]; 3 cousins in the Navy [Cold War], Army Nat’l Guard [Cold War], Army [GWOT]. My God-Mothers son is a Marine Veteran [Vietnam era], and my dad went to Army boot camp but got seriously injured; he couldn’t finish. In high school, I joined the Marine J.R.O.T.C. Program. For me, it was a natural thing to do. I actually joined USMC at age 9. I believed it was my destiny-to serve in the military of the greatest country on the face of the earth!

By the time I reached the 5th grade and into the 6th grade, I had read World Book Encyclopedia from AZ (with the help of Mr. James Hickey, my 5th-grade teacher), who taught us to do something we’d never done before, and I did!

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No Ordinary Dog by Will Chesney, Joe Layden

No Ordinary Dog by Will Chesney, Joe Layden

No Ordinary Dog: My Partner from the SEAL Teams to the Bin Laden Raid is the powerful true story of a SEAL Team Operator and military dog handler, and the dog that saved his life. Two dozen Navy SEALs descended on Osama bin Laden's compound in May 2011. After the mission, only one name was made public: Cairo, a Belgian Malinois and military working dog. This is Cairo's story, and that of his Handler, Will Chesney, a SEAL Team Operator whose life would be irrevocably tied to Cairo's. The Story...

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Sgt Thomas William Selleck (Tom Selleck), U.S. Army, (1967-1973)

Sgt Thomas William Selleck (Tom Selleck), U.S. Army, (1967-1973)

Known for his leading role in ‘Magnum, P.I.’ and as Monica’s love interest in ‘Friends’, Tom Selleck is a household name whose career has spanned over four decades. He’s had numerous on-screen careers, but you know that Tom Selleck is a Vietnam War era veteran? Tom Selleck’s Early Life Thomas William Selleck was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1945, but his family moved to Sherman Oaks, California, in 1948. Raised by hardworking parents, Tom Selleck learned the values of the U.S. military from an...

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Sgt Michael Wynn, U.S. Marine Corps (1966-1970)

Sgt Michael Wynn, U.S. Marine Corps (1966-1970)

Michael Wynn is a Marine Sargeant, a four-year USMC volunteer, of First Battalion, Third Marines, hailing from Marion, Ohio who took part in Operation Ballistic Charge near Dai Loc, in Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam. He shared a history of his motivation to join the Marine Corps which was a mixture of patriotism and seeking excitement and adventure. Michael Wynn's Childhood "My name is Mike Wynn and I was born on January 17, 1947. I grew up in Marion, Ohio, and attended Olney Ave....

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Capt Stephen Decatur, U.S. Navy (1798–1820)

Capt Stephen Decatur, U.S. Navy (1798–1820)

In the world of American Naval heroes, few figures loom as large over Navy history as that of Stephen Decatur. He was among the first American military heroes to come to prominence after the American Revolution, the youngest sailor ever promoted to Captain in U.S. Navy history, and a veteran of three wars. With every battle in every war he fought, Stephen Decatur's service exemplified the heroism and bravery of the Navy, no matter what his rank he was at the time. Stephen Decatur Was Brought...

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WW2 – D-Day Landings: The 82nd and 101st Airborne

WW2 – D-Day Landings: The 82nd and 101st Airborne

The amphibious landings of D-Day were hours away when the first combat missions by the US Army started in France. The Normandy invasion, also called Operation Overlord or D-Day, began with a large-scale parachute drop that included 13,100 Soldiers of the 82nd and the 101st Airborne Divisions. During the night in the early hours of June 6th, 1944, the attack occurred and was the vanguard of the Allied operations in Normandy. What Was the Mission of the US 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions on...

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Shooting Vietnam by Dan Brookes & Bob Hillerby

Shooting Vietnam by Dan Brookes & Bob Hillerby

Having my feet firmly planted in the camps of archive photography and military history, I was bound to be drawn to this absorbing and often extremely personal book: Shooting Vietnam: The War By Its Military Photographers by Dan Brookes and the late Bob Hillerby. They recount their experiences of serving in Vietnam and offer a deep insight into the world of combat and general photography orchestrated by the US Army. This is a difficult book to put down. About Shooting Vietnam Mr. Hillerby tells...

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The Battle of New Orleans

The Battle of New Orleans

The War of 1812 held a lot of meaning for the young United States. It was an assertion of its independence from Great Britain, a demand to be recognized and respected as a nation of the world, and it was a chance to show that the U.S. would assert itself militarily if the need arose.  What most people, even Americans, remember about the War of 1812 (aside from the burning of the White House) is that the conflict was fought to a draw. Very little tangibly changed following nearly three...

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Notable Encounters by Chris Adams

Notable Encounters by Chris Adams

For most of us, our time in the military takes us to new places, teaches us new things, and introduces us to people we otherwise would never have met. One retired Air Force officer, Maj. Chris Adams documented the memorable people he encountered throughout his military career and compiled his recollections in his new book, "Notable Encounters." About the Author of Notable Encounters Adams is a retired USAF major general, a Vietnam War pilot, former Chief of Staff at Strategic Air Command, and...

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Why Americans Use Yellow Ribbons To Support the Troops?

Why Americans Use Yellow Ribbons To Support the Troops?

You just can't keep a good tradition down. The good stuff will always come back up to the top in the ebb and flow of history. Using yellow ribbons to remember the troops is based on that kind of tradition. The Use of a Yellow Ribbons in American Popular Culture There are a lot of myths and legends surrounding when ribbons were first tied on, why the color yellow is used, and where exactly one is supposed to tie the ribbon. Those legends are only a part of the full story. For centuries, people...

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The Battle of the Alamo

The Battle of the Alamo

Few battles in American history resound so powerfully in our collective memory as that of the Alamo. The Battle of the Alamo had everything we could ever want in an epic story. It featured a handful of defenders fighting for freedom, facing down an overwhelming but cruel enemy, and among those defenders were some of America's most legendary names.  When the defenders of the Alamo were killed to the last man, it inspired a country to take up arms and win their freedom, lest they all meet...

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Soldier and Writer
Lt Col Michael Christy (USA) Ret.

Many articles contained in this Blog were written by Together We Served’s former Chief Editor, Lt Col Michael Christy, and published in TWS’s Dispatches Newsletter.

Lt Col Christy’s military career spanned 26 years, beginning in 1956 when he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. Following two years active duty, he spent another two years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. In 1962, he joined the Army National Guard and in 1966 was called up for active duty with the U.S. Army. After an 18 year distinguished Army career, Lt Col Christy retired from military service in 1984.
Lt Col Christy saw action in Vietnam with Special Forces Units, including the renowned Delta Force, and was awarded two Silver Stars, six Bronze Stars (three with Valor), and two Purple Hearts.
As a military consultant and accomplished writer, Lt Col Christy has contributed to several TV military documentaries, including those found on the History Channel, plus significant military history publications, including Vietnam Magazine.”