Incredible Military Stories
LCDR Montel Williams, US Navy and USMC (1974-1986)

LCDR Montel Williams, US Navy and USMC (1974-1986)

Montel Williams is best known as the Emmy Award-winning host of The Montel Williams Show, which aired nationally for seventeen years. Montel Brian Anthony Williams, known to most as simply “Montel,” is also an actor and motivational speaker. But did you know that Montel Williams served in the military? His decorated military service spanned 22 years in two branches of the service—the United States Marines and the United States Navy. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1974 and later became the...

read more
Service Reflections of MKCS George Shoffstall , U.S. Coast Guard (1973-1994)

Service Reflections of MKCS George Shoffstall , U.S. Coast Guard (1973-1994)

I had every intention of joining the U.S. Navy as an enlisted man after HS graduation. I didn’t have the grades to entertain the academy appointment process. My father and his two brothers voluntarily enlisted in the Navy at the outset of the Korean Conflict in 1950. Two served on New Jersey class battleships, and my father trained as an Aviation Electricians mate assigned to a tactical squadron in country.

My aspirations took a slight course change in the spring of my senior year. One day I received a long-distance call from a friend and former classmate. He had been looking into joining the Coast Guard after graduation and mentioned maybe enlisting as teammates in what was called the buddy program. Being a kid from central PA, I hadn’t heard or even considered the CG.

read more
The Wreck of the First U.S. Navy Destroyer Jacob Jones  Has Been Found

The Wreck of the First U.S. Navy Destroyer Jacob Jones Has Been Found

Just 40 miles off the coast of the Isles of Scilly, in the southwest of England, a team of expert divers located the wreck of the USS Jacob Jones (DD-61). The Tucker-class destroyer was built prior to WWI and was sunk on December 6, 1917, by a German submarine. Of her crew of seven officers and 103 men, 2 officers and 62 men lost their lives according to the U.S. Navy’s Naval History and Heritage Command. The Jacob Jones was the first American destroyer lost to enemy action. On April 6, 1917,...

read more
Service Reflections of ETNSN John W. Ditmar, Jr., U.S. Navy (1970-1973)

Service Reflections of ETNSN John W. Ditmar, Jr., U.S. Navy (1970-1973)

The village I grew up in had a population of around 2000 and was almost surrounded by water, so swimming, fishing, and boating were a natural progression. I loved to watch the bigger boats on Spring Lake and freighters that would come into Grand Haven at a young age. My early years growing up were not much fun.

My father was a good man but was an alcoholic and was mean to my mother and me when he had too much to drink. There was physical violence. My parents never attended church, but some kind neighbors took me a few times with their kids, which opened my eyes to another world. In those days, there was a stigma attached to being an alcoholic, and despite several attempts by myself and others, my father refused any help. This was a time when my conflicting emotions were off the chart.

read more
SOG. The Secret Wars of America’s Commandos in Vietnam by John L. Plaster

SOG. The Secret Wars of America’s Commandos in Vietnam by John L. Plaster

John Plaster (The Ultimate Sniper), a retired Army major, served three tours with the secretive "Studies and Observation Group," aka SOG, during the Vietnam War-a background he has put to good use in this authoritative and insightful look at the now-defunct commando unit. Plaster does much to illuminate both this frequently misunderstood group and its extraordinary participants. Made up entirely of volunteers, SOG tackled a wide range of vital and dangerous duties, including missions deep into...

read more
Famous Marine Corps Unit: MACV-SOG

Famous Marine Corps Unit: MACV-SOG

Steeped in secrecy and shaped by global Cold War tensions, the Vietnam War was, by all standards of measure, the most clandestine military campaign in US history. After World War II, democratic and communist nations were spoiling for a fight, testing one another, and positioning themselves to gain geographic and political advantage. However, with an indecisive outcome in Korea and escalating international anxiety, further activities became highly secretive on both sides, including CIA...

read more
Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt, U.S. Navy (1994–Present)

Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt, U.S. Navy (1994–Present)

As the USS Abraham Lincoln sailed into San Diego Thursday, Aug. 11, with two destroyers in tow and some 6,000 sailors and Marines aboard, it marked the completion of a U.S. military first: Navy Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt has now completed her first mission as the first woman to command a U.S. aircraft carrier. The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier left for a routine deployment to the Indo-Pacific region — generally ranging from the Philippines to the South China Sea — on Jan. 3. Over the next...

read more
I Never Left Anybody Up There by Keith Krejci

I Never Left Anybody Up There by Keith Krejci

During the height of the Vietnam War, Da Nang Air Base was one of the busiest airports in the world, if not the busiest. As if the stress of being an air traffic controller wasn't enough, U.S. Air Force Air Traffic Controllers in Vietnam had to deal with the same levels of traffic found in places like Chicago O'Hare International Airport while under fire. Amazingly, these no doubt stressed-out airmen were able to do their jobs flawlessly, often living in wartime conditions in the middle of...

read more
Famous Army Air Force Unit – 336th Fighter Squadron

Famous Army Air Force Unit – 336th Fighter Squadron

The annals of Air Force history are rich with the performance and accomplishments of individual units, but often reflect specific battles, a conflict, or other such moments in time. Due to ever-changing budgets, technology, restructuring, and more, tenure alone is a barrier to the creation of longstanding unit heritage and tradition. Nonetheless, select organizations can trace a significant lineage with associated individual and group exploits. Perhaps not well known to other than their sister...

read more
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.