Cold War

The X-15 Rocket Plane by Michelle Evans

The X-15 Rocket Plane by Michelle Evans

When the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first man-made satellite, into low-earth orbit in 1957, it set the Space Race in full motion. The United States was determined to break the barriers of man's entry into space and dominate this undiscovered country.  While NASA projects Mercury, Gemini, and especially Apollo are often remembered and celebrated, a little-remembered partnership between the US Air Force and NASA brought an incredible new aircraft, arguably the first-ever manned...

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Where Are the Alien Bodies?

Where Are the Alien Bodies?

By now, we all know the gist of the story. An unidentified flying object crashed in the desert near Corona, New Mexico, in 1947. Military and government agents from nearby Roswell Army Air Field rushed to the site and found alien bodies hidden among the wreckage and debris. Then, they immediately covered it up and left the American public in the dark.  The Army didn't help matters any, releasing a report claiming to have captured some kind of "flying disc." It immediately retracted that claim,...

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Service Reflections of TSgt Marion Cochran, Jr., U.S. Air Force (1970-1981)

Service Reflections of TSgt Marion Cochran, Jr., U.S. Air Force (1970-1981)

I was graduating from high school in 1968, and the conflict in Vietnam was going on. I had a fairly low number in the lottery and knew I would get drafted. I didn’t want to go to Vietnam, so I picked the Air Force instead of the Army and began talking to an Air Force recruiter. My Dad was an MP in the Army in WW2, and I thought I’d like to get into the Security Police field. Every time the recruiter would get a slot, I’d put him off because I was working my 1st job out of high school and was enjoying it. Then one day, while I was at work, my Brother, who is 10 years younger than me, called and said I had a letter. I asked what it said, and he started out, stumbling over a couple of words since he was learning to read, “Greetings, you are hereby ordered…” I said that’s enough. I told my boss I had to get off. Drove up to the Air Force recruiter’s office and said, ” Please, please, get me in.” I joined the AF 2 days before I was supposed to go into the Army.

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Grunts, Gramps & Tanks by Rick Bogdan

Grunts, Gramps & Tanks by Rick Bogdan

The United States' involvement in South Vietnam lasted roughly 20 years. For much of that time, American forces were actively engaged against the North Vietnamese. As the war lingered on and public sentiment turned against the war, the U.S. eventually withdrew in 1973. Within two years, the South Vietnamese government would fall and Vietnam was unified under the Communist regime. That is a very simplistic description of 20 years of conflict. The men and women who served in Vietnam each have a...

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Cold War – The Berlin Airlift (1948)

Cold War – The Berlin Airlift (1948)

After World War II, the Allies partitioned Germany into a Soviet-occupied zone, an American-occupied zone, a British-occupied zone, and a French-occupied zone. Berlin, the German capital city, was located deep in the Soviet zone, but it was also divided into four sections. In June 1948, the Russians–who wanted Berlin all for themselves–closed all highways, railroads, and canals from western-occupied Germany into western-occupied Berlin. This, they believed, would make it impossible for the...

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SA David ‘Sinbad’ Adkins, U.S. Air Force (1979-1983)

SA David ‘Sinbad’ Adkins, U.S. Air Force (1979-1983)

SA David ‘Sinbad’ Adkins (U.S. Air Force, 1979-1983) is best known for his body of work as a comedian and film & TV actor. He became known in the 1990s for being featured on his own HBO specials, appearing on several television series such as Coach Walter Oakes in A Different World, and as David Bryan on The Sinbad Show, and starring in the films Necessary Roughness, Houseguest, First Kid, Jingle All the Way, Good Burger, and Planes. Prior to this success, however, Sinbad spent some time...

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Service Reflections of Maj Robert Hayden, U.S. Air Force (1964-1985)

Service Reflections of Maj Robert Hayden, U.S. Air Force (1964-1985)

Two different reasons or experiences. While I was a small lad, we lived about 90 miles from Wichita, where my grandmother and great-grandmother lived. Immediately after WWII, when I was about four years old, we would drive up to visit them and would drive by the line after line of B-29’s, huge and shiny, that the Boeing company had built but not delivered to the military for the war. I still remember thinking how neat it would be to get to fly one of those airplanes.

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Service Reflections of ETC James Fort, Jr., U.S. Coast Guard (1972-1992)

Service Reflections of ETC James Fort, Jr., U.S. Coast Guard (1972-1992)

My dad was the major influence on my joining the Coast Guard. He was part of a forward Army recon unit that was captured at the Battle of the Bulge after expanding all their ammunition. His unit was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation, and he earned a Bronze Star for his actions there. My dad also fought in the Korean war earning awards for his actions there.

The Army was going to send him off to Vietnam when that conflict started, and he opted to retire with twenty-three years of service at that time. My dad thought that Vietnam was a war run by politicians instead of Generals and convinced me that the Coast Guard was the best service to go into. Of course, neither of us knew at the time that there were more Coasties killed (percentage-wise) in WWII and the Vietnam war than any other service.

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Service Reflections of SSgt Rob Matlock, U.S. Air Force (1979-1999)

Service Reflections of SSgt Rob Matlock, U.S. Air Force (1979-1999)

My father was in Korea, and he regretted not reenlisting and making the USAF a career. He told us stories of his time in the Air Force with such enthusiasm that I wanted to experience what he described. My uncle on my mom’s side learned to fly helicopters in the AF and talked to me about the training that I could receive in the military and how it could help me get a job if I got out. My girlfriend and I talked to an AF Guard recruiter, and I joined ANG at 17 1/2. I went to Basic, and she decided she did not want to go. She married someone else while I was in photographer training.

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Service Reflections of Sgt Ralph Hammer, U.S. Marine Corps (1972-1978)

Service Reflections of Sgt Ralph Hammer, U.S. Marine Corps (1972-1978)

Growing up as a child, and since my first memory that I can remember, I always heard my Mother who had Served in the United States Marine Corps and the Great Pride of being a “MARINE” during service and after; she had started as a Model in Hollywood and was contracted for Billboard Pictures for WOMEN to Join the Marines allowing Men in Desk Jobs to Go out and fight the Japanese. My Mother was SO Proud of the Uniform that she Enlisted before going home.

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