Military Medley

Col Frank Capra, U.S. Army (1918-1945)

Col Frank Capra, U.S. Army (1918-1945)

Frank Capra, who served in the US Army between 1918 and 1945, is perhaps most well-known for his direction of classic Americana films It’s A Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. However, his greatest contribution to American culture may be the documentary series he produced during World War II for the Allied forces: Why We Fight. Born in Bisacquino, Sicily, in 1897, Francesco Rosario Capra was the youngest of seven children born to the Capra household: humble fruit growers. In...

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Sgt Drew Carey, U.S. Marine Corps (1980-1986)

Sgt Drew Carey, U.S. Marine Corps (1980-1986)

Drew Carey, who served in the US Marine Corps between 1980 and 1986, may be better recognized as the host of the game show The Price is Right, or for his previous work as host of improv comedy show Whose Line is it Anyway? It might surprise some to learn, however, that his distinctive haircut and glasses are artifacts from his years of service as a Marine.Born the youngest of three sons to the Carey family of Old Brooklyn in Cleveland, Ohio, at the age of eight Carey lost his father Lewis to a...

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Cpl William (Bill) Ralph Blass, U.S. Army (1943-1945)

Cpl William (Bill) Ralph Blass, U.S. Army (1943-1945)

William (or Bill) Ralph Blass who served in the US Army between 1943 and 1945 is better known for his contributions to the fashion industry. However, his efforts during World War II are as remarkable as they are unusual. William Ralph Blass was born on June 22 1922, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. His father was a traveling salesman, his mother a dressmaker. Sadly, Blass’ father committed suicide when Bill was 5. Bill took after his mother, sketching Hollywood-inspired fashions in the margins of his...

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PO2 Jeff Bridges, U.S Coast Guard Reserves (1967-1975)

PO2 Jeff Bridges, U.S Coast Guard Reserves (1967-1975)

Jeff Bridges, who served in the US Coast Guard Reserves between 1967 and 1975, was a showbiz presence before he ever put on a uniform. The son of renowned Hollywood actor Lloyd Bridges, both his brother Beau and Jeff made appearances with their father on the TV series Sea Hunt between 1958 and 1960. Perhaps it was his father’s Coast Guard Auxiliary experience, combined with the Coast Guard role Lloyd played on the show, that influenced young Jeff’s choice to enlist as a young adult. The...

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LCpl Orville Richard Burrell (aka Shaggy), U.S. Marine Corps (1988-1992)

LCpl Orville Richard Burrell (aka Shaggy), U.S. Marine Corps (1988-1992)

Orville Richard Burrell, also known as Shaggy, who served on the US Marine Corps between 1988 and 1992, came to live in Brooklyn as a teenager after leaving his home of Jamaica. While he showed early musical promise, he was in need of steady income, and the Marines were happy to take him. Born on October 22 1968 in Kingston, Jamaica, Orville took singing lessons as a teen and discovered a natural talent. He earned the nickname ‘Shaggy’ because of his untamed hair, after the Scooby-Doo...

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Cpl Charles Dennis Buchinsky (Bronson), U.S. Army Air Force (1943-1946)

Cpl Charles Dennis Buchinsky (Bronson), U.S. Army Air Force (1943-1946)

Charles Dennis Buchinsky (or Bronson) who served in the US Army Air Force between 1943 and 1945, went on to be one of Hollywood’s pre-eminent tough guys, the face of the Death Wish film franchise. However, his time as the silver screen’s top draw was preceded by a very humble childhood. Charles Bronson Went to War to Escape the Coal Mine The 11th of 15 children, Charles was born in 1922. He grew up speaking three languages at home, but none of them English. The Buchinsky family lived in...

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LTJG Robert (Bob) William Barker, U.S. Navy (1943-1945)

LTJG Robert (Bob) William Barker, U.S. Navy (1943-1945)

Robert or ‘Bob’ William Barker who served in the US Navy Reserves between 1943 and 1945, is best known for hosting the iconic game show The Price Is Right between 1972 and 2007. His stint on the program made him a record-breaker, the longest-running daytime game show host in North American television history. Prior to his 35-year stay with the show, he was host of Truth or Consequences, another game show, for 18 years between 1956 and 1974. However, before his career in broadcasting, Barker...

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We’ll All Die As Marines by Colonel Jim Bathurst

We’ll All Die As Marines by Colonel Jim Bathurst

For seventeen-year-old high school dropout Jim Bathurst, the Marine Corps reputation for making men out of boys was something he desperately needed when he enlisted in March of 1958. What began as a four-year hitch lasted nearly thirty-six years and included an interesting assortment of duty stations and assignments as both enlisted and officer. We'll All Die As Marines narrates a story about a young, free-spirited kid from Dundalk, Maryland, and how the Corps captured his body, mind, and...

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Our Vietnam Wars by William F. Brown

Our Vietnam Wars by William F. Brown

By William F. Brown Real stories told by real people, in their own words, 100 veterans, men, and women caught up in an all too real war. From the Delta to the DMZ, come walk in their boots. If you were there, you understand. If you weren't, grab a copy.  The Vietnam War dominated my generation and affected so many lives in so many different ways. Some of us were drafted. Some enlisted. Some became war heroes, intentional or not, but most of us were just trying to survive. As we all knew,...

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EM2 Nick Adams, U.S. Coast Guard (1952-1954)

EM2 Nick Adams, U.S. Coast Guard (1952-1954)

Nick Adams, who served in the US Coast Guard between 1952 and 1954, came from humble beginnings to try and make a Hollywood star of himself. Cohort of James Dean and Elvis Presley, Adams also came to an unfortunate end chasing their caliber of fame. Nevertheless, he was a dutiful member of the Coast Guard during the Korean War and following. Nick Adams’ Early Life Nick Adams was born Nicholas Aloysius Adamshock in 1931 in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, a company town for coal mining. Abjectly poor...

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