Incredible Military Stories
Sgt Jack Riley, U.S. Marine Corps (1966-1972)

Sgt Jack Riley, U.S. Marine Corps (1966-1972)

Which individual(s) from your time in the military stand out as having had the most positive impact on you and why?:

Several heroes had a positive impact on my ability to survive some of the heaviest battles by Marines in the Vietnam War. My Senior DI at Parris Island, S/Sgt Leroy Elliott, named me the second most deserving of promotion to PFC in my Platoon 138. The Honor Marine was a contract journeyman butcher and deservingly so! Promoted to Gunny Elliott, he was killed on May 8, 1967, at Con Thien. My first Platoon Sergeant in Vietnam was S/Sgt Guy Hodgkins, who was Killed in Action on September 3, 1966. He spent a lot of time with me discussing VC tactics he had encountered and what I could expect as a squad leader.

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CPL Amber Endrusick, U.S. Army (2000-2009)

CPL Amber Endrusick, U.S. Army (2000-2009)

Which individual(s) from your time in the military stand out as having had the most positive impact on you and why?:

His positivity and dedication to always doing the most good humanly possible impacted me for the rest of my life. We had some serious cases, hard things to see and deal with; we saw what human beings were capable of doing to each other in their darkest moments. We had rocks thrown at us and crowds begging us when there was nothing we could do. But through it all, Col Gonzalez held firm to his attitude of doing our best, rising above what we thought we could be, and, most importantly, always having faith in goodness.

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Operation Top Cover, a Year On The Dew Line By Arthur Wayland

Operation Top Cover, a Year On The Dew Line By Arthur Wayland

During the Cold War, the United States relied on three radar lines to detect incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles that might come from the Soviet Union. The most important and most capable of the three was the Distant Early Warning Line - affectionately known as the DEW Line.  About the Author of Operation Top Cover In Cape Lisburne, Alaska, Arthur Wayland was manning the 711 Aircraft Control and Warning station. It was a very remote radar station, the westernmost site of the DEW...

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Service Reflections of SP4 Orlando Maione, U.S. Army (1958-1961)

Service Reflections of SP4 Orlando Maione, U.S. Army (1958-1961)

I was 22 years old and just finished my fourth year as a student in a five-year program for a Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame, IN. In June of that year, I received my draft notice. I went to the local draft board with my university catalog showing the program I was in was a five-year program; my parents canceled the check for the fifth-year tuition and explained that I didn’t want to get out of the draft. I was perfectly willing to serve but wanted to finish my college education and a one-year deferment.

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WW2 – The Heroes Of Eager Beavers

WW2 – The Heroes Of Eager Beavers

In 1943, several U.S. airmen went on a suicide mission. Two men, who were part of Eager Beavers, on the mission were awarded a Medal of Honor - the only time in WWII that two men received the same award for the same engagement. Interestingly, their careers didn't start out well. Biography of Lt Col Jay Zeamer Jr. Jay Zeamer, Jr. got his wings in 1941 at Langley Field. All his classmates became pilots and got their own planes and crews, but not Zeamer. Although he could fly and had a passion...

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Was Mr. Rogers a Vietnam-Era Sniper?

Was Mr. Rogers a Vietnam-Era Sniper?

At some point in their military career, U.S. troops will likely hear the rumor that television's Mr. Rogers, host of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," was a death-dealing, hardcore Vietnam-era sniper in either the Army Special Forces, Navy SEALs, or the Marine Corps.  Fred Rogers and his past are just one more file to add to the mounting list of military myths and urban legends. It might be fun to think of a man as smart and wholesome as Fred Rogers picking off a North Vietnamese general or...

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War in Afghanistan – The Battle of Kunduz

War in Afghanistan – The Battle of Kunduz

The Battle of Kunduz took place from April to October 2015 for control of the city of Kunduz, located in northern Afghanistan, with Taliban fighters attempting to displace Afghan security forces. On September 28, 2015, the Taliban forces suddenly overran the city, with government forces retreating outside the city. The capture marked the first time since 2001 that the Taliban had taken control of a major city in Afghanistan. The Afghan government claimed to have largely recaptured Kunduz by...

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Famous Navy Unit: USRC Harriet Lane

Famous Navy Unit: USRC Harriet Lane

The USRC Harriet Lane (1857) was a vessel serving in the United States Revenue Cutter Service from 1861–1881; builder: William Webb, New York, length: 180 ft., navigation draft: 10 ft., beam: 30 ft., propulsion: sail & steam: brigantine-rigged & side wheel paddles; inclined, direct-acting steam engine. Its descendants since then have included USCGC Harriet Lane (WSC-141), a 125-foot cutter in US Coast Guard service 1926-46, and USCGC Harriet Lane (WMEC-903), a medium-endurance cutter...

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Service Reflections of Sgt Thomas Hewell, U.S. Air Force (1972-1976)

Service Reflections of Sgt Thomas Hewell, U.S. Air Force (1972-1976)

In June of 1971, I graduated from Oconee County High School, and a friend of mine helped me get a job as a Laboratory Technician in Plant Pathology and Genetics at the University of Georgia starting in July of that year. It sounded like a neat job at first, but after a few months of looking through a microscope in a small room, I quickly realized that was not what I wanted to do long-term. I had always thought about serving in the military because of the men in my family who had served in the different military branches and some friends of mine from High School who had immediately enlisted right after graduation. The Vietnam War was on the news constantly, and I just felt the need to serve. Although the draft was still in place, my draft number was 340, so I probably would never have been drafted, but I wanted to do my part to serve my country.

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B-17 Bomber Crews of World War II

B-17 Bomber Crews of World War II

Even at the time, the idea was kind of crazy. Untold numbers of heavy bombers, flying in massive formations without any kind of fighter escort, would fly to heavily-defended targets inside Nazi Germany to drop a 6,000-pound bomb load and come home – all during broad daylight.  If that sounds like an incredibly dangerous mission to you, you're correct. "Masters of the Air," a new limited series from Executive Producers Tom Hanks and Steven Speilberg, will debut on January 26, 2024, on Apple TV+...

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US Navy C-130 Hercules Plane Lands & Takes Off From An Aircraft Carrier

US Navy C-130 Hercules Plane Lands & Takes Off From An Aircraft Carrier

Aircraft carriers are enormously important. They serve as mobile bases for warplanes at sea. They have flight decks for planes to take off and land. They carry equipment for arming warplanes and recovering planes that have been damaged. An aircraft carrier is considered a capital ship, the most important ship. This is because the Navy can use it to extend its power anywhere in the world. Countries that want to exercise influence need to have aircraft carriers. History of the C-130 Hercules...

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Ending the Battle of the Bulge

Ending the Battle of the Bulge

In December 1944, the German Wehrmacht launched what would be its last offensive of World War II, a last-ditch, all-out effort to throw the Western Allies back from Germany's borders. It would take the Allies almost six weeks to blunt the effort and force the German Army back, but for a time, it looked like the Nazi offensive might actually succeed in splintering the Allied invasion of Europe.  Germany threw everything it could into the effort, including an estimated 410,000 men, 1,500 armored...

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Soldier and Writer
Lt Col Michael Christy (USA) Ret.

Many articles contained in this Blog were written by Together We Served’s former Chief Editor, Lt Col Michael Christy, and published in TWS’s 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.