Incredible Military Stories
Col Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, U.S. Marine Corps (1934-1947)

Col Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, U.S. Marine Corps (1934-1947)

Stories of Gregory "Pappy" Boyington are legion, many founded in fact, including how he led the legendary Black Sheep squadron, and how he served in China as a member of the American Volunteer Group, the famed Flying Tigers. He spent a year and a half as a Japanese POW, was awarded the Medal of Honor and Navy Cross, and was recognized as a Marine Corps top ace. Always hard-drinking and hard-living, Pappy's post-war life was as turbulent as his wartime experiences. Biography of Gregory "Pappy"...

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Civil War – The Battle of Fort Donelson

Civil War – The Battle of Fort Donelson

After the successful siege of Fort Henry by Federal troops on February 6th, 1862, the Confederate forces hurried back to the neighboring Fort Donelson, which was located a few miles away. The Federals sought control over the waterways of Cumberland and Tennessee, knowing full well the advantage that it would afford them in the Western Theater of the Civil War. scan from 4x5 color copy transparency The chief agitator of the move to conquer the forts was Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, who had sent...

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SFC Leigh Ann Hester, U.S. Army (2001-Present)

SFC Leigh Ann Hester, U.S. Army (2001-Present)

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 Quarter Combat Executing daily patrols as a member of the National Guard's...

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George Walters, The Civilian Who Fought at Pearl Harbor

George Walters, The Civilian Who Fought at Pearl Harbor

World War II was a total war, meaning that once the United States entered the war, everyone fought it somehow. The troops, of course, did the fighting, but civilians on the home front made sacrifices, collected scrap and grew gardens to keep food fresh for the soldiers and sailors on the real front. There was also the American workforce, who built the machines and materials needed to do the job. From the very moment the U.S. was thrust into World War II, civilians were ready to do their...

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Rockets, Sand and Amalgam by Robert Engelmeier

Rockets, Sand and Amalgam by Robert Engelmeier

Webster's Dictionary defines amalgam as "a mixture or blend", making it the perfect word to describe Vietnam veteran Robert Engelmeier's experience in country, as well as his 2023 memoir of it.  The author has written countless academic articles about his chosen career in dentistry and prosthetics as a retired professor who directed the graduate program at the University of Texas Houston Dental Branch for 14 years and served as Prosthodontic Department chair at the University of Pittsburgh and...

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Unforgotten in the Gulf of Tonkin by Eileen A. Bjorkman

Unforgotten in the Gulf of Tonkin by Eileen A. Bjorkman

When Air Force Maj. Alan Saunders arrived in Vietnam in June 1963; true combat search and rescue (CSAR) as we know it today was just beginning to form. Saunders was bringing his experience fighting World War II in the jungles of Burma to Det. 3, Pacific Air Rescue Center in Tan Son Nhut. Maj. Alan Saunders and His Experience Fighting World War II Saunders knew that the jungle didn't burn and create smoke around the wreckage of a downed aircraft. Nor did it easily cough up a surviving pilot,...

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Why Americans Use Yellow Ribbons To Support the Troops?

Why Americans Use Yellow Ribbons To Support the Troops?

You just can't keep a good tradition down. The good stuff will always come back up to the top in the ebb and flow of history. Using yellow ribbons to remember the troops is based on that kind of tradition. The Use of a Yellow Ribbons in American Popular Culture There are a lot of myths and legends surrounding when ribbons were first tied on, why the color yellow is used, and where exactly one is supposed to tie the ribbon. Those legends are only a part of the full story. For centuries, people...

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WW1 – The Christmas Truce of 1914

WW1 – The Christmas Truce of 1914

During World War I, in the bitter winter of 1914, on the battlefields of Flanders, one of the most unusual events in all of human history took place. The Germans had been in a fierce battle with the British and French. Both sides were dug in, safe in muddy, man-made trenches six to eight feet deep that seemed to stretch forever. The Sudden Christmas Truce During World War I All of a sudden, German troops began to put small Christmas trees, lit with candles, outside of their trenches. Then,...

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Heroes of The Coast Guard: Munro and Evans

Heroes of The Coast Guard: Munro and Evans

Within days of their Dec. 7, 1941 surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese Imperial Navy occupied scores of islands throughout the western Pacific Ocean. Japan's goal was to create a defensive buffer against attack from the United States and its Allies - one that would ensure their mastery over East Asia and the Pacific. It wasn't until the United States' strategic victories at the Battles of the Coral Sea (May 4-8, 1942) and Midway (June 4-7, 1942) finally halted the Japanese Empire's...

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Secret Soldiers by Philip Gerard

Secret Soldiers by Philip Gerard

They were masters of the craft of illusion and deception, and their greatest disappearing act was to vanish from history. The men of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops were recruited to become phantom warriors in a ghost army to help win the Battle of Europe. A thousand strong, they fought in more campaigns, from D Day to the Rhine River, with more Allied armies, than any other unit in the European Theater of Operations - yet, not even their fellow American soldiers were aware of their...

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WW2 – Battle Of the Aleutian Islands

WW2 – Battle Of the Aleutian Islands

In June 1942, six months after the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor that drew the U.S. into World War II, the Japanese targeted the Aleutians, an American-owned chain of remote, sparsely inhabited, volcanic islands extending some 1,200 miles west of the Alaskan Peninsula. After reaching the Aleutians, the Japanese conducted airstrikes on Dutch Harbor, the site of two American military bases, on June 3 and June 4. The Japanese then made landfall at Kiska Island on June 6 and Attu Island,...

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1SG Randy Taylor, Jr., U.S. Army (2002-2023)

1SG Randy Taylor, Jr., U.S. Army (2002-2023)

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

Purpose Is Everything. What I miss most about my time in the service has a lot to do with my purpose in life. A purpose that drove my successes and failures over the past 20 years or so. Each day came and went with a purpose while I served in the Army and this was significant to my own self-development. I joined the Army right after the September 11th attacks and I recall landing in Germany for my first duty station after basic training with nothing more than a backpack of a few personal items, the clothes on my back and a folder with what I was told was “very important-do-not-lose” HQDA assignment orders. My purpose was made clear to me at that point and from the infancy of what would be my career as an Infantryman.

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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.