The Christy Collection

Incredible Military Stories 

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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SFC Fred Willam Zabitosky, U.S. Army (1959-1989) – Medal of Honor Recipient

SFC Fred Willam Zabitosky, U.S. Army (1959-1989) – Medal of Honor Recipient

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. SFC Zabitosky, US Army, distinguished himself while serving as an assistant team leader of a nine-man Special Forces long-range reconnaissance patrol. SFC Zabitosky's patrol was operating deep within the enemy-controlled territory in Laos when they were attacked by a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army unit.  SFC Zabitosky rallied his team members, deployed them into...

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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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MA2 Doris Miller, U.S. Navy (1939–1943) – Navy Named Aircraft Carrier for Pearl Harbor Hero

MA2 Doris Miller, U.S. Navy (1939–1943) – Navy Named Aircraft Carrier for Pearl Harbor Hero

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 20th, 2020, at Pearl Harbor, the Navy announced that a $12.5 billion aircraft carrier will be named after Mess Attendant 2nd Class Doris Miller, the first African American to receive the Navy Cross for valor for his actions on December 7, 1941, when he manned a machine gun on the USS West Virginia to fire back at attacking Japanese planes. "I think that Doris Miller is an American hero simply because of what he represents as a young man going beyond the...

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MajGen Smedley Butler, U.S. Marine Corps (1898–1931) – Medal of Honor Recipient

MajGen Smedley Butler, U.S. Marine Corps (1898–1931) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Smedley Butler may be the best-known double Medal of Honor recipient and one of the most popular military Generals in U.S. history. Butler served 33 years in the Marine Corps and had a role in the Spanish-American War in Cuba, the Philippine-American War in Manila, the Boxer Rebellion in China, the Banana Wars in the Caribbean, the Mexican Revolution, and World War I. Butler's first Medal of Honor was earned during the Mexican Revolution when the then-major fought block to block in the streets...

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World War II – Battle of Iwo Jima (1945)

World War II – Battle of Iwo Jima (1945)

The Battle of Iwo Jima was an epic military campaign between U.S. Marines and the Imperial Army of Japan in early 1945. Located 750 miles off the coast of Japan, the island of Iwo Jima had three airfields that could serve as a staging facility for a potential invasion of mainland Japan. American forces invaded the island on February 19, 1945, and the ensuing Battle of Iwo Jima lasted for five weeks.  In some of the bloodiest fighting of World War II, it's believed that all but 200 or so...

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PFC Harold Agerholm, U.S. Marine Corps (1942-1944) – Medal of Honor Recipient

PFC Harold Agerholm, U.S. Marine Corps (1942-1944) – Medal of Honor Recipient

PFC Harold Agerholm had a quiet start to his life. After qualifying from school in Racine, Wisconsin, he worked as a multigraph operator for the Ranch Manufacturing Company. Then in July 1942, he joined the Marine Corps Reserve. Upon completing his recruit training in San Diego, California, Harold Agerholm was sent to the Headquarters and Service Battery, 4th Battalion, 10th Marines, and 2nd Marine Division. He received further training for eleven months with his battalion in Wellington, New...

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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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SSgt Desi Arnaz, U.S. Army (1942-1945)

SSgt Desi Arnaz, U.S. Army (1942-1945)

Desi Arnaz who served in the US Army between 1942 and 1945 is perhaps most famous for his starring role as Ricky Ricardo opposite his real-life spouse Lucille Ball in the foundational modern TV sitcom I Love Lucy. Desi was already on his way to becoming a star when he was drafted into the US Army, but his time as a soldier gave him plenty of opportunities to hone his skills not only as a performer, but as a producer. Desi Arnaz’ Military Service Born Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III in...

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SA David ‘Sinbad’ Adkins (U.S. Air Force)

SA David ‘Sinbad’ Adkins (U.S. Air Force)

SA David 'Sinbad' Adkins (U.S. Air Force, 1979-1983) is better known for his body of work as a comedian and film & TV actor. Prior to this success, however, Sinbad spent some time in the military. Together We Served examines how a failed basketball prospect became one of the 90s’ most prominent Black comedic actors. Sinbad’s Military Service David 'Sinbad' Adkins born in Michigan in 1956 to a Baptist minister, the young David Adkins graduated Benton Harbor High School in 1974. He visited...

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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.”