The Christy Collection

Incredible Military Stories 

Cpt Humbert Roque “Rocky” Versace, U.S. Army (1959–1965) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Cpt Humbert Roque “Rocky” Versace, U.S. Army (1959–1965) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Captain Humbert Roque Versace, affectionately called "Rocky," was an officer of the United States Army. He went on to receive the Medal of Honor-the greatest military decoration of the United States-for the heroic actions he undertook as a prisoner of war in the Vietnam War. Puerto Rican-Italian by descent, he was the first member of the U.S. Army to have ever received such a distinction. Born on July 2, 1937, in Honolulu, Hawaii, Humbert Roque Versace was the eldest of five children....

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Capt Dan Lauria, U.S. Marine Corps (1970-1973)

Capt Dan Lauria, U.S. Marine Corps (1970-1973)

Dan Lauria: Marine Corps Veteran, Veteran Actor Dan Lauria, one of America’s best-known TV dads due to his famous role as “Kevin’s Dad” on the hit show Wonder Years, is an accomplished TV, film, and stage actor. His service in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War had a profound impact on both his life and his acting career. Todays, Lauria continues to support veterans through his involvement in several important organizations. Dan Lauria’s Early Years On Stage Lauria, an Italian-American,...

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Famous Army Units – Mash 8055th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital

Famous Army Units – Mash 8055th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital

In stark contrast with the mission of combat forces, the US Army Medical Corps are committed to providing aid and comfort to the injured: wounded soldiers, civilians and at times even enemy personnel.  There are no medals, no glory, and heroism is measured in blood, sweat and tears.  Though the Korean War has been regarded as a failure by many because of its indecisive outcomes, in one area it was an unbridled success-saving lives.  When the war broke out in Korea on June 25,...

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Col Merryl Tengesdal, U.S. Air Force (1994-2017) – U2 Pilot

Col Merryl Tengesdal, U.S. Air Force (1994-2017) – U2 Pilot

Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Merryl Tengesdal is the first African American female U-2 pilot in history and is the first African American woman to fly the Air Force's U-2 Dragon Lady Spy Plane. She is the only black woman alongside five white women and two black men to fly spy planes. Merryl Tengesdal was born Merryl David in 1971 in the Bronx, New York. She excelled in math and science classes in grade school and high school and graduated from the University of New Haven in Connecticut in...

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Famous Army Units – 1st Alaska Combat Intelligence Platoon

Famous Army Units – 1st Alaska Combat Intelligence Platoon

The Aleutian Islands are unknown to many Americans and in 1941, upon entry of the US into WWII, even fewer. Remote volcanic islands (1200 miles from Alaska), barren and plagued by harsh weather and unforgiving winds make them seemingly unlivable and bear little consideration except to the native Aleuts that call them home.  Nonetheless, with US-Japanese tensions running high, as early as February 1941 efforts were underway to form the Alaskan Defense Command.  Recognizing broad...

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Vietnam War – Siege of Plei Me

Vietnam War – Siege of Plei Me

J. Keith Saliba's book's real-life setting is an isolated, heavily fortified frontier outpost In Vietnam's West-Central Highlands near the Cambodian border and the Ho Chi Minh trail, the main conduit for troops and supplies from North Vietnam. "It was a 20th-century version of the Wild West frontier fortress," Saliba said, in territory Army Special Forces soldiers called "Indian Country"-remote, dangerous. The Siege of Plei Me Was the Beginning of the First Major Confrontation In October 1965,...

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Sgt Elvis Aaron Presley, U.S. Army (1958-1960)

Sgt Elvis Aaron Presley, U.S. Army (1958-1960)

Elvis Presley: King of Rock-N-Roll, Army Veteran American singer and actor Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), widely recognized as The King of Rock-N-Roll, is the celebrity whose military service is probably best known. He enlisted in the US army at the peak of his career, in 1958, when he was already world-famous and had wide success as a rockabilly and rock-n-roll singer also encompassing other genres, including gospel, blues, ballads, and pop music. Elvis’s Early Years...

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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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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.”