Incredible Military Stories
Cpl Daniel Crispell, U.S. Marine Corps (1966-1968)

Cpl Daniel Crispell, U.S. Marine Corps (1966-1968)

What do you miss most about your time in the service and what made this especially significant to you?:

The bond of Friendship. My Marine Friend Bob born 04-06-1946 . We met in Vietnam and were both Dump Truck drivers leading convoys and building roads into the jungle. While at Hill-55 we worked on Liberty Road and camped in a tent over looking the river and our bunkers below. Everynight after 8 pm we were attacked bullets whizzing through our tent. While working on this road I had a bulldozer track blown up in front of me. During the day working I had another Marine’s truck reared blew up by a landmine.

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CPL Joshua Thigpen, U.S. Army (2002-2014)

CPL Joshua Thigpen, U.S. Army (2002-2014)

What do you miss most about your time in the service and what made this especially significant to you?:

Brotherhood and Comradery: What I Miss Most From My Military Service.

While I miss many things from my time in the service every day, the element I miss the most is the comradery I shared with those I served with. In the early 2000s, it was a high op-tempo existence. We were constantly mobilized OCONUS, CONUS, and even assisting with things like Hurricane Katrina. We never knew if we would be together, and when several of us would be pulled out for an ad-hoc mission, we didn’t know if it would be the last time we would ever see one another. Yet somehow, we always found our way back together, and some of the most defining characteristics of who I am today came from my time with my brethren in the field. We didn’t squabble over issues that currently tear friends, family, and compatriots apart; we just saw each other as brothers to fight next to and for. When I look back on those days, I don’t remember the fear, I don’t remember the pain, the sweat, the tears of agony, enduring whatever hardship was placed before us next. What I remember is the laughter, the smiles, the extremely cool and unique things we got to do as soldiers together. Whether it be the disciplined execution of elements within our Top Secret ADA Mission in the NCR or us looking out for one another as we shammed out behind a connex, I have never trusted and believed in a group of men to both do their duty with integrity and to look out for me while doing it.

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SGT John Podlaski, U.S. Army (1970-1971)

SGT John Podlaski, U.S. Army (1970-1971)

What do you miss most about your time in the service and what made this especially significant to you?:

What I miss from my time in the service. Remember when we were younger, we had lots of friends. Although we had our favorites and best friend – it was a crushing blow when our family had to move to another location. We lost that best friend – never to be seen again. However, we met new friends, and with some, a lasting relationship. When I was in Vietnam, I was assigned to a squad of soldiers in one of the infantry platoons. Although the size should be a dozen or so soldiers, we generally ran with eight soldiers. We spent 24 hours a day with one another and got to know each other rather well. Oftentimes, we shared intricate secrets that we kept to ourselves for many years. Trust was never questioned. Was it possible to have eight besties?

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The Fall of Tenochtitlan

The Fall of Tenochtitlan

Tenochtitlan was an amazing city and larger than any in Europe at the time and held approximately 200,000 people with some estimates as high as 350,000. Built over 100 years or so on Lake Texcoco, the city was impressively organized. Being built on the lake meant that land platforms were created as needed in an orderly fashion leaving clean canal streets for canoe traffic and multiple bridges and paths for pedestrians. Each neighborhood was distinct and had its required services from schools...

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The Marine Corps Memorial

The Marine Corps Memorial

The Battle of Iwo Jima is one of the most important battles in the history of the Marine Corps. More than 26,000 United States Marines were killed or wounded for the strategically vital eight square miles of the island. It allowed the United States to attack the Japanese home islands from the air without warning and become the staging point for the coming invasion of Japan. It also came to define the modern Marine Corps. The image of Marines raising the flag on Mount Suribachi became the...

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Does the U.S. Military Really Use Saltpeter to Calm the Urges of Basic Trainees?

Does the U.S. Military Really Use Saltpeter to Calm the Urges of Basic Trainees?

This old legend might be the first military myth new recruits come across, and it might have been around for as long as saltpeter itself. Despite the combined efforts of science, health education, and common sense, somehow, the myth of the military adding saltpeter to the food or beverages in basic training still persists.  History with Using Nitrated Sodium Salts Why would the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, or Marine Corps do such a thing? The legend says they would add saltpeter to...

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Make Peace or Die by Charles Daly

Make Peace or Die by Charles Daly

As many readers of the Dispatches Newsletter might be aware, "Make Peace or Die" is the motto of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. For Charles Daly, it became a regular choice he would have to make, time and again, over the course of his entire life.  "Make Peace or Die: A Life of Service, Leadership, and Nightmares" is everything the name promises it to be. At times terrifying, the book is always engrossing and descriptive. It’s one of the finest personal recollections of the Korean War...

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Civil War – The Battle of Nashville

Civil War – The Battle of Nashville

On Dec. 15, 1864, Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood had the unfortunate job of going up against the Union's only undefeated general officer, Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas. Thomas, nicknamed "The Rock of Chickamauga" for preventing a disaster for the Union in 1863, would keep that record throughout the Civil War. After the two-day Battle of Nashville, his nickname would become "The Sledge of Nashville," after he effectively destroyed the Confederate Army of Tennessee. Sherman's Famous March to the...

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Mary Walker: Civil War’s Only Woman Doctor

Mary Walker: Civil War’s Only Woman Doctor

Mary Edwards Walker, was an American feminist, abolitionist, prohibitionist, alleged spy, prisoner of war and surgeon. She is also the only woman ever to receive the Medal of Honor. Mary Walker Became the Army's First Female Surgeon Prior to the American Civil War, she earned her medical degree, married, and started a medical practice. The practice didn't do well, and at the outbreak of the War Between the States, she volunteered with the Union Army as a surgeon. Despite her training, however,...

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LtCol Gene Hambleton, U.S. Air Force (1943-1972)

LtCol Gene Hambleton, U.S. Air Force (1943-1972)

On April 2, 1972, the third day of the Easter Offensive, the largest combined arms operation of the entire Vietnam War, 53-year-old Air Force Lt. Col. Iceal 'Gene' Hambleton was a navigator aboard one of two United States Air Force EB-66 aircraft escorting three B-52s. Bat 21, the call sign for Hambleton's aircraft, was configured to gather signals intelligence, including identifying North Vietnamese anti-aircraft radar installations to enable jamming. (Photo is Bat 21 in Korat Royal Thai Air...

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Service Reflections of MSgt John Bradley, U.S. Marine Corps (1968-1989)

Service Reflections of MSgt John Bradley, U.S. Marine Corps (1968-1989)

I was named after my Great Uncle John Vander Schaff, who was in the Army from 1907-1911, serving in the Philippine Insurrection, Cuban Insurrection and Mexican Border Campaign; he then joined the US Marine Corps serving from 1911-1919. He served in the Peking Legation Guard and later was Marine Barracks Manilla, Mare Island and Marine Guard at Portsmouth Naval Prison. He was transferred Sea Duty in WWI, although he did not serve in combat as he was reassigned to escort military prisoners from France back to the US. He was discharged in 1919. I grew up with his often hilarious stories of his time overseas. I also come from a family where every male had served in the USA or Navy since the American Revolution, and on both sides during the Civil War, it was expected I would put in a hitch during the Vietnam War, as did all of my cousins. The big difference was I stayed in for 20 years.

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S1C Don Rickles, U.S. Navy (1944-1946), WWII

S1C Don Rickles, U.S. Navy (1944-1946), WWII

Before emerging as the renowned comedy legend celebrated for his wit and humor, Don Rickles navigated a significant chapter in his life that often goes overlooked. Long before his name became synonymous with laughter, Rickles dutifully answered his country's call by enlisting in the United States Navy during World War II. These military years in the Navy laid the groundwork for the extraordinary career that would later make him a comedy icon adored by audiences worldwide. Don Rickles’s Early...

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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.