Profiles in Courage

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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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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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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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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Navy to Name Aircraft Carrier for Pearl Harbor Hero – MA2 Doris Miller, U.S. Navy (1939–1943)

Navy to Name Aircraft Carrier for Pearl Harbor Hero – MA2 Doris Miller, U.S. Navy (1939–1943)

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, at Pearl Harbor, the Navy is expected to announce that a $12.5 billion aircraft carrier will be named after Mess Attendant 2nd Class Doris Miller, the first African American to receive the Navy Cross for valor for his actions on December 7, 1941, when he manned a machine gun on the USS West Virginia to fire back at attacking Japanese planes. "I think that Doris Miller is an American hero simply because of what he represents as a young man going beyond the...

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Navy Corpsman Robert E. Bush (1944 – 1945)

Navy Corpsman Robert E. Bush (1944 – 1945)

Robert Eugene Bush wasn't old enough to join the Navy when the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. He was still in high school. His neighbor in his hometown of Raymond, Washington, was a Fireman aboard the USS Arizona. "He's still on board the Arizona," Bush said in a Veterans History Project Interview. Bush could barely stand the wait to join the war. He wouldn't be old enough until his 17th birthday in the Fall of 1943. He and a friend from school dropped out and enlisted...

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MOH Recipient SFC Fred Willam Zabitosky, U.S. Army (1959 – 1989)

MOH Recipient SFC Fred Willam Zabitosky, U.S. Army (1959 – 1989)

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. SFC Zabitosky, US Army, distinguished himself while serving as an assistant team leader of a nine-man Special Forces long-range reconnaissance patrol. SFC Zabitosky's patrol was operating deep within the enemy-controlled territory in Laos when they were attacked by a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army unit.  SFC Zabitosky rallied his team members, deployed them into...

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Sgt. Alvin York (1941–1947)

Sgt. Alvin York (1941–1947)

Sergeant Alvin York was seemingly born to a hardscrabble existence and anonymity in death, but World War One changed that forever. The story of York is one that twists and turns like the Mississippi river as he went through redemption and battled personal demons. At the end of it, all was the story that could have secured fame, finance, and his future - but York turned his back on it all to go back to the simple life and try and make a positive impact on the community in which he lived. York's...

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Major General Smedley Butler, U.S. Marine Corps (1898–1931)

Major General Smedley Butler, U.S. Marine Corps (1898–1931)

Smedley Butler may be the best-known double Medal of Honor recipient and one of the most popular military Generals in U.S. history. Butler served 33 years in the Marine Corps and had a role in the Spanish-American War in Cuba, the Philippine-American War in Manila, the Boxer Rebellion in China, the Banana Wars in the Caribbean, the Mexican Revolution, and World War I. Butler's first Medal of Honor was earned during the Mexican Revolution when the then-major fought block to block in the streets...

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U-2 Pilot Col. Merryl Tenesdal (1994-2017)

U-2 Pilot Col. Merryl Tenesdal (1994-2017)

Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Merryl Tengesdal is the first African American female U-2 pilot in history and is the first African American woman to fly the Air Force's U-2 Dragon Lady Spy Plane. She is the only black woman alongside five white women and two black men to fly spy planes. Tengesdal was born Merryl David in 1971 in the Bronx, New York. She excelled in math and science classes in grade school and high school and graduated from the University of New Haven in Connecticut in 1994...

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