Vietnam War

The Twins Platoons by Christy W. Sauro Jr.

The Twins Platoons by Christy W. Sauro Jr.

As a symbol of patriotism and public support during a time when anti-Vietnam war sentiments were growing, the Minnesota Twins baseball team and Marine Corps recruiters in the Minneapolis - St. Paul area came up with the idea of the team sponsoring a recruit platoon to be named the 'Twins Platoon." A letter sent out to area Marine recruits informed them they would be sworn in on TV at pregame ceremonies the night of June 28, 1967. Among those receiving the letter was the author, Christy Sauro...

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The Bigfoot of the Vietnam War

The Bigfoot of the Vietnam War

Paratrooper Gary Linderer deployed to Vietnam with the 101st Airborne and often went out into the jungle with a six-man Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol. During one patrol, he claimed to have encountered a creature with "deep set eyes on a prominent brow… five feet tall, with long muscular arms, walking upright with broad shoulders and a heavy torso." Linderer had no idea what he saw, but he wasn't the first American to report seeing an ape-like creature while out on patrol, and he definitely...

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Service Reflections of CWO3 Joe Loiseau, U.S. Coast Guard (1969-1990)

Service Reflections of CWO3 Joe Loiseau, U.S. Coast Guard (1969-1990)

In 1968-69, I was in my senior year of high school when the Vietnam War was still raging. I knew the likelihood of being drafted into the Army and sent to Vietnam was pretty good. I neither wanted to go into the Army nor to Vietnam. My best option was to check out the U.S. Coast Guard. That’s when I discovered there was a six-month waiting list for the Coast Guard. I went down to the Coast Guard recruiting station in January 1969, signed the enlistment papers and continued my high school education.

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Col James Kasler, U.S. Air Force (1950-1975)

Col James Kasler, U.S. Air Force (1950-1975)

James Helms Kasler was born on May 2, 1926, in South Bend, Indiana and following 30-years of distinguished military service, retired as a U.S. Air Force Colonel. Three times James Kasler went off to war and three times returned home. During his career, he is the only person to be awarded three Air Force Crosses. He also was awarded two Silver Stars, Legion of Merit, nine Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Purple Hearts, eleven Air Medals and Bronze Star with V for valor. Setting aside...

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Sgt Raymond Vaughn, U.S. Marine Corps (1965-1971)

Sgt Raymond Vaughn, U.S. Marine Corps (1965-1971)

Who or what influenced your decision to join the military? Which service branch did you select, and what do you remember most about joining up?: My favourite uncle was my inspiration to join the Corps, not an easy decision at the time because Vietnam was starting to really escalate. It was all over the news, and we were starting to see wounded vets returning, and views of flag-draped caskets with bugles playing taps were popping up frequently on the local news. My Uncle Brady, Uncle Caesar, and my Dad were all Merchant Marines but 180 degrees apart in demeanor. Dad and Uncle Caesar, a US Navy WW II vet, were settled homebodies. Uncle Brady was the happy vagabond with different kinds of stories to tell. We loved hearing their sea stories since my father had been part of the sea convoys carrying supplies and men overseas to Europe and the Pacific, and Uncle Brady had actually had feet on the ground. Dad had asthma and was not eligible for the military.”

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Service Reflections of CMSgt Jerry Ball, U.S. Air Force (1961-1991)

Service Reflections of CMSgt Jerry Ball, U.S. Air Force (1961-1991)

I was born and raised in Myra, West Virginia. It was known for being the hometown of Brig. General Chuck Yeager. Yeager was a role model and hero to many in our local community. I joined the Chuck Yeager Civil Air Patrol Flight from 1957-1958 and was exposed to the drill and flight time in an L-17 aircraft. I had the opportunity to attend the CAP Summer Camp in 1957 at Clinton County AFB, Ohio, and experienced a flight in a C-119 Flying Boxcar. I left the summer camp with several hours of exposure to the Air Force Crash Fire Rescue Program, which steered me towards wanting to pursue crash-fire rescue. I took the Air Force entrance exam before graduating from high school. At that time, I was also working for $5 a day as a helper at an International Harvest Dealership, mostly attending to engine rebuilds and preparing vehicles for paint.

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Walk In My Combat Boots by James Patterson and Matt Eversmann

Walk In My Combat Boots by James Patterson and Matt Eversmann

James Patterson, the author of "Walk In My Combat Boots", is the worldwide, best-selling creator of the "Alex Cross" and "Michael Bennett" series of books. Matt Eversmann is a U.S. Army veteran who received the Bronze Star Medal with Valor for leading a team of Rangers in Somalia in 1993. His exploits were depicted in the 2001 film "Black Hawk Down". The two teamed up to create a touching, thoughtful book about the U.S. military, the people who join it, and veterans of three separate eras of...

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Gunnery Sgt. John Lee Canley, U.S. Marine Corps (1953-1981)

Gunnery Sgt. John Lee Canley, U.S. Marine Corps (1953-1981)

As 1967 turned to 1968, American forces had officially been fighting in Vietnam for years, and many believed the Vietnamese Tet holiday would pass uneventfully, as it had in years past. They were wrong. On January 31, 1968, North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces launched an offensive across South Vietnam, targeting more than 100 towns and cities.  It was the largest operation from either side until that point in the war. Eighty thousand communist troops hoped to spark a mass uprising...

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