The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

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

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

What was the biggest personal challenge that you encountered during your military service? How did you approach and overcome this?:

In 2006, I deployed to Iraq for my second 12-month tour, this time to Baghdad. I had previously been deployed to this theater in 2003 during the Initial Invasion but in Kirkuk. This time, my deployment experience has drastically changed with the counterinsurgency agenda, operating during the surge within a Sunni and Shia Faultline, as well as pinned up against the developing/ evolving use of IEDs and ambush techniques. Every patrol, either mounted or dismounted, would prove to be a gamble of committed forward movement within the muhallahs. Every Platoon operating within the Area of Operations was in tune with each other and shared in the concern and worry for elements leaving and entering FOB Falcon. Platoons and Sections on a mission would be met and sent off at the gates with supportive encouragement, and a couple of cigarettes as final pre-combat checks were being completed. I was a squad leader during this deployment and shouldered the safety and leadership of my M1114 truck crew, which included 1 gunner, 1 driver, and 2 dismounts.

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Make Peace or Die by Charles Daly

Make Peace or Die by Charles Daly

As many readers of the Dispatches Newsletter might be aware, "Make Peace or Die" is the motto of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. For Charles Daly, it became a regular choice he would have to make, time and again, over the course of his entire life.  "Make Peace or Die: A Life of Service, Leadership, and Nightmares" is everything the name promises it to be. At times terrifying, the book is always engrossing and descriptive. It’s one of the finest personal recollections of the Korean War...

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Rucksack Grunt by Robert Kuhn

Rucksack Grunt by Robert Kuhn

Rucksack Grunt author Robert Kuhn served in the US Army between 1970 and 1972 in the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry. He ventured out of the suburbs of Pennsylvania into the dangerous jungles and mountains of Vietnam’s Central Highlands. In his book, Kuhn details the traumatic and even disturbing encounters he experienced as a ‘rucksack-carrying grunt’ on his tour of duty. Vietnam vets and those who love them alike have found common ground and insight in Kuhn’s writing.  Kuhn was just a...

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Vietnam War – Operation Union II

Vietnam War – Operation Union II

Operation Union II was a military operation that took place in the Vietnam War. It was a search and destroy mission in the Que Son Valley carried out by the 5th Marine Regiment. Launched on May 26, 1967, the operation ended June 5. It was a bloody 10-day battle that resulted in 594 NVA killed and 23 captured, while U.S. casualties were 110 killed and 241 wounded. The Importance of the Que Son Valley in the Vietnam War The Que Son Valley is located along the border of Quang Nam and Quang Tin...

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Gunnery Sgt. John Lee Canley, U.S. Marine Corps (1953-1981)

Gunnery Sgt. John Lee Canley, U.S. Marine Corps (1953-1981)

As 1967 turned to 1968, American forces had officially been fighting in Vietnam for years, and many believed the Vietnamese Tet holiday would pass uneventfully, as it had in years past. They were wrong. On January 31, 1968, North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces launched an offensive across South Vietnam, targeting more than 100 towns and cities.  It was the largest operation from either side until that point in the war. Eighty thousand communist troops hoped to spark a mass uprising...

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MajGen. Keith L. Ware, U.S. Army (1941–1968)

MajGen. Keith L. Ware, U.S. Army (1941–1968)

MajGen Keith Lincoln Ware was born in Denver on November 23, 1915. His military career began on July 9, 1941, when he undertook his basic training at Camp Roberts, California, following his induction into the Army under the Selective Service Act. He attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry on July 18, 1942. Keith Lincoln Ware Was Awarded the Medal of Honor Assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division, he sailed on October 22,...

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Service Reflections of SFC Joseph Wilson, Jr., U.S. Army (1967-1990)

Service Reflections of SFC Joseph Wilson, Jr., U.S. Army (1967-1990)

My father was a WWII Navy veteran (1945-47). In 1964 – 65 I became a Cadet with the Civil Air Patrol in the Borah Cadet Squadron in Boise, Idaho, and later with the Gowen Field Cadet Squadron also in Boise, Idaho.Despite them being similarly reserved and not the type of men to brag, I could hardly wait to visit them so I could beg them to tell me war stories. The experiences they shared with me made a lasting impression during my early childhood, which further aroused my desire to serve my country.

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LCpl Adam Douglas Driver, U.S. Marine Corps (2001-2004)

LCpl Adam Douglas Driver, U.S. Marine Corps (2001-2004)

Adam Driver is an accomplished actor with two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and four Primetime Emmy Awards, among other accolades. But did you know that before he became the face of Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Driver served in the US Marine Corps? Inspired to join USMC shortly after the tragic events of 9/11, Adam Driver was preparing for active duty in Iraq, when he suffered an injury in a bicycle accident that prevented his deployment. Although his service in the...

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Service Reflections of CSM Robert (Rob) M. Preusser, U.S. Army (1995-Present)

Service Reflections of CSM Robert (Rob) M. Preusser, U.S. Army (1995-Present)

I have raised an Army brat. I grew up with military role models. My father, uncle, and grandfather were in the Army. I had two other uncles in the Air Force. Made it an easy choice for military service. Being an Army brat, moving to multiple middle schools and two high schools, I was burned out with schooling and didn’t have the means to go directly into college, so military service was the logical choice for me. It fit me better because I wanted to get out on my own and travel the world. I wanted something more than working in my hometown. I wanted to do something positive with my life and make a difference to others.

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Service Reflections of SP 4 Richard Bradley, U.S. Army (1963-1970)

Service Reflections of SP 4 Richard Bradley, U.S. Army (1963-1970)

Until August of 1963, I was planning on going into the Navy and making a career out of it. My father was in the Merchant Marines and then the Navy during World War II. I had read his Blue Jacket’s Manuel 1944 entirely and was determined to become a good sailor.

Then, my older brother came home on leave from Fort Bragg Special Forces Training. He was wearing a tailored Khaki uniform with French Fourragere and Jump Wings. The 82nd Airborne Patch complemented his high gloss Jump Boots. His stories about jump school enamored me. He left on August 9, 1963, back to Fort Bragg.

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Sgt Michael Wynn, U.S. Marine Corps (1966-1970)

Sgt Michael Wynn, U.S. Marine Corps (1966-1970)

Michael Wynn is a Marine Sargeant, a four-year USMC volunteer, of First Battalion, Third Marines, hailing from Marion, Ohio who took part in Operation Ballistic Charge near Dai Loc, in Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam. He shared a history of his motivation to join the Marine Corps which was a mixture of patriotism and seeking excitement and adventure. Michael Wynn's Childhood "My name is Mike Wynn and I was born on January 17, 1947. I grew up in Marion, Ohio, and attended Olney Ave....

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