The Christy Collection

Incredible Military Stories 

CSM Patrick Gavin Tadina – Vietnam War’s Longest Continuously Serving Ranger

CSM Patrick Gavin Tadina – Vietnam War’s Longest Continuously Serving Ranger

A 30-year Army veteran who was the longest continuously serving Ranger in Vietnam and one of the war's most decorated enlisted soldiers died. Patrick Gavin Tadina served in Vietnam for over five years straight between 1965 and 1970, leading long-range reconnaissance patrols deep into enemy territory - often dressed in black pajamas and sandals and carrying an AK-47. The retired Command Sergeant Major Patrick Gavin Tadina died May 29, 2020, in North Carolina. He was 77. "Early this...

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Famous Army Units – 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Demolition Platoon

Famous Army Units – 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Demolition Platoon

By 1944 the tide of battle in World War II was turning in favor of Allied forces across the various theatres.  With momentum building in Europe and the Mediterranean through the successive invasions of North Africa in November 1942 (Operation Torch), the invasion of Sicily in July 1943 (Operation Husky), and the invasion of Italy in September 1943 (Operation Avalanche) a much broader front was necessary to redirect Axis forces and free Russian troops.  A keystone to accomplishing...

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Cpl Mel Brooks, U.S. Army (1944 – 1945)

Cpl Mel Brooks, U.S. Army (1944 – 1945)

Mel Brooks's Military Service “Springtime for Hitler” is one of the songs that made Mel Brooks famous. But did you know that this prolific actor, comedian, composer, and filmmaker served in World War II as a young man? Mel Brooks’s Early Life Mel Brooks was born Melvin James Kaminsky in 1926, the youngest of four boys. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York, in a Jewish family of modest means. When Brooks was two years old, his father passed away from kidney disease. Mel was raised by his mother and...

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Famous Army Units – 761st Tank Battalion

Famous Army Units – 761st Tank Battalion

Entry of the United States into World War II quickly revealed how woefully ill-prepared the armed forces were to contend with a major conflict.  Apart from the peacetime draft instituted in 1940 and lend-lease support to Great Britain few actions had been taken to address escalating global tensions.  Now racing to enlist, train, arm and deploy resources necessary across multiple theatres of war the Army and other branches of service were forced to again face long-held racial...

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SFC Leigh Ann Hester, U.S. Army (2001-Present) – Silver Star Recipient

SFC Leigh Ann Hester, U.S. Army (2001-Present) – Silver Star Recipient

On the morning of March 20, 2005, then-Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester was tasked with assisting a supply convoy moving east of Baghdad, a job that meant scanning and clearing the route of any improvised explosive devices. She'd done this job countless times before, getting shot at on almost a daily basis and seeing vehicles blown up more times than anyone would like to remember. Leigh Ann Hester Was Cited for Valor in Close Quarters Combat Executing daily patrols as a member of the National Guard's...

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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 Line....

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Famous Marine Corps Units – George Company (G Co), 3rd Bn, 1st Marine Regiment

Famous Marine Corps Units – George Company (G Co), 3rd Bn, 1st Marine Regiment

The 1st Marine Division, the oldest and largest active duty division of the United States Marines is perhaps best known by the nickname coined following World War II, “The Old Breed”.  With a long and distinguished history, no subordinate unit better reflects the honor and best traditions of the Marine Corp than the 3rd Battalion, G Company during the Korean War.  George Company served gallantly spanning Incheon, Seoul, Wonsan landings and Chosin Reservoir, pushing the limits of...

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Iraq War – The Siege of Sadr City

Iraq War – The Siege of Sadr City

On Mar. 28, 2004, Paul Bremer, administrator of the American-led Coalition Provisional Authority of Iraq, ordered the closure of al-Hawza, an Arabic-language newspaper that was a sounding board for the Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.  Bremer shut down the weekly paper because he believed it encouraged violence against U.S. troops in Iraq. It was only supposed to last 60 days, but the action would spark a series of events that led to a four-year siege and a series of battles between Coalition...

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Did a Scottish Soldier Really Play Bagpipes at Normandy?

Did a Scottish Soldier Really Play Bagpipes at Normandy?

On June 6, 1944, the Allied forces launched Operation Overlord, the largest and most complex amphibious landing in history until that point. Invading Hitler's Fortress Europe was no small matter, even with all the preparations and forethought Allied planners made in advance of the landings. In the years and decades that followed, D-Day became one of the most thoroughly studied and documented events of World War II. Still, it seems like more and more personal stories, fascinating accounts, and...

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Baghdad Underground Railroad by Steve Miska

Baghdad Underground Railroad by Steve Miska

In 2007, Iraq was mired in a nearly country-wide civil war. The United States military needed Iraqis to help them quell the violence between Sunni and Shia militias who were tearing the country apart and ambushing American troops.  Bodies were turning up in the streets overnight, IEDs were a constant threat to U.S. forces, and innocent civilians were caught in the crossfire. Thousands of Iraqis, most with no military training, risked their lives to be interpreters for American military...

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

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

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. SFC Fred 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 Fred Zabitosky repeatedly exposed himself to North...

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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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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.”