The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

SSgt John (Johnny) R. Cash, U.S. Air Force (1950-1954)

SSgt John (Johnny) R. Cash, U.S. Air Force (1950-1954)

Johnny Cash left high school and joined the Air Force, where he formed his first band. Together We Served follows him from radio operator to global superstar. SSgt John (Johnny) R. Cash, U.S. Air Force (1950-1954) John or Johnny R. Cash of the US Air Force between 1950 and 1954, was an iconic American genre-defying singer-songwriter. Also known as ‘The Man in Black’ for his idiosyncratic attire, Cash is one of the best selling American musicians of all time. He considered it a duty to sing...

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A Civil War Sniper Hell Bent on Revenge

A Civil War Sniper Hell Bent on Revenge

John W. "Jack" Hinson, better known as "Old Jack" to his family, was a prosperous farmer in Stewart County, Tennessee. A non-political man, he opposed secession from the Union even though he owned slaves. Friends and neighbors described him as a peaceable man, yet despite all this, he would end up going on a one-man killing spree. Jack's plantation was called Bubbling Springs, where he lived with his wife and ten children. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, he was fiercely determined to...

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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 from 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. Mr. Hillerby tells an eye-watering tale of his life as a combat photographer, often in danger,...

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Daniel K. Inouye, U.S. Army, WWII (1942-1945)

Daniel K. Inouye, U.S. Army, WWII (1942-1945)

Senator Daniel Inouye served in the United States Senate from 1963 until his death in 2012. At the time of his death, he was America's second-longest sitting Senator, which is not at all surprising considering he could easily be considered one of World War II's hardest men to kill. This Japanese-American, who faced discrimination and segregation, had every reason to sit this war out if he so chose with a bitter heart. But considering he was raised by a father who told him the following upon...

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Sacrifice And Survival at Chosin Reservoir

Sacrifice And Survival at Chosin Reservoir

For 19-year-old Pat Finn, a Minnesota Marine with Item Co, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, the night seemed colder and darker than any of the others he'd experienced since landing in Korea. His Battalion had just arrived at a desolate, frozen lake he would remember for the rest of his life: the Chosin Reservoir.  As the sun went down on November 27, 1950, and temperatures sank to 20 degrees below zero, Marines at Yudam-ni, a small village on the west side of the Chosin Reservoir, hunkered...

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The Dogs of The Vietnam War

The Dogs of The Vietnam War

I would wager that 90 percent of American combat troops killed in action during the Vietnam War never saw their killers. Whether it was a sniper at 200 yards, a rocket fired into a base camp or an attack from a well-concealed bunker complex, the element of surprise was usually on the side of our enemies. But our forces did have one elite weapon that sometimes took the advantage away. At times, these weapons even turned such situations upside down and enabled us to surprise and take them out....

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The Road Not Taken

The Road Not Taken

In chronicling the adventurous life of legendary CIA operative Edward Lansdale, The Road Not Taken definitively reframes our understanding of the Vietnam War. In this epic biography of Edward Lansdale (1908 - 1987), the man said to be the fictional model for Graham Greene's The Quiet American, best-selling historian Max Boot demonstrates how Lansdale pioneered a "hearts and mind" diplomacy, first in the Philippines, then in Vietnam. It was a visionary policy that, as Boot reveals, was...

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The Last Airborne Deployment of WWII (1945)

The Last Airborne Deployment of WWII (1945)

In the early morning hours of March 24, 1945, a massive WWII airborne operation known as Operation Varsity launched with an attempt to deploy 17,000 American and British Airborne troops across the Rhine River. It was the largest single-day airborne operation in history. C-47 Transport Planes Release Hundreds of Paratroopers during Operation Varsity. In the final months of WWII, Western Allied Forces advanced east into Germany. This meant crossing numerous rivers, many of which no longer had...

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American Doolittle Raid And the Brutal Japanese Reprisals (1942)

American Doolittle Raid And the Brutal Japanese Reprisals (1942)

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, is one of the most well-known events of the Second World War. Less well-known is the Doolittle Raid, in which American B-25 bombers bombed the Japanese cities of Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, and Kobe on April 18, 1942, in response to Pearl Harbor.Tragically, the Japanese reprisal for the Doolittle Raid - the Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign - is barely remembered today, even though it cost 250,000 Chinese civilians their lives.After the shock of the...

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Captain Humbert Roque “Rocky” Versace, U.S. Army (1959–1965)

Captain Humbert Roque “Rocky” Versace, U.S. Army (1959–1965)

Captain Humbert Roque Versace, affectionately called "Rocky," was an officer of the United States Army. He went on to receive the Medal of Honor-the greatest military decoration of the United States-for the heroic actions he undertook as a prisoner of war in the Vietnam War. Puerto Rican-Italian by descent, he was the first member of the U.S. Army to have ever received such a distinction. Born on July 2, 1937, in Honolulu, Hawaii, Versace was the eldest of five children. Versace's father was...

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Call Sign Chaos

Call Sign Chaos

Call Sign Chaos is the account of Jim Mattis's storied career, from wide-ranging leadership roles in three wars to ultimately commanding a quarter of a million troops across the Middle East. Along the way, Mattis recounts his foundational experiences as a leader, extracting the lessons he has learned about the nature of warfighting and peacemaking, the importance of allies, and the strategic dilemmas - and short-sighted thinking - now facing our nation. He makes it clear why America must...

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Myths About the Military

Myths About the Military

War movies are great to watch and keep us on the edge of our seats with each powerful explosion, hidden sniper attack, and scandalous missions, but the U.S. Military has been shrouded in myth for too long. It’s time civilians quit believing the silly hype and learn more about the protectors of this nation. It would not hurt to ask a member of the military about the service instead of relying on multimillion-dollar Hollywood productions and music videos. Myth One You need to be a perfect...

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Soldier and Writer
Lt Col Michael Christy (USA) Ret.
All articles contained in this Blog were written by Together We Served’s Chief Editor, Lt Col Michael Christy, and published in TWS’s monthly 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.”