By now, we all know the gist of the story. An unidentified flying object crashed in the desert near Corona, New Mexico, in 1947. Military and government agents from nearby Roswell Army Air Field rushed to the site and found alien bodies hidden among the wreckage and debris. Then, they immediately covered it up and left the American public in the dark. The Army didn't help matters any, releasing a report claiming to have captured some kind of "flying disc." It immediately retracted that claim,...
The Christy Collection
Military Stories and Articles
Service Reflections of SGT Timothy Meltabarger, U.S. Marine Corps (1981-1990)
When I graduated from High School in 1980, I was about four months away from turning 18. I worked in the Oil Field with my brother through the Summer and decided that I needed to get an education, so I enrolled in a Technical College in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. I entered college as the hostages in Iran were being released. I was in a drafting program and sat at a table in a classroom with about 40 people. About 25 percent were veterans, and none were Marines. We had a radio that played in the classroom, and on March 30, 1981, I listened to the news of Reagan being shot. When the semester was over, I decided to quit college and go back home and do something greater. Exactly what, I had not decided.
Vietnam War – The Battle of Ia Drang, LZ X-Ray
American involvement in Vietnam can stretch back as far as the end of World War II, depending on how you define "involvement," but one thing is for sure; when the U.S. committed its combat troops to defend South Vietnam, things got hot almost immediately. The most stunning example of the ferocity of Vietnam battlegrounds is the 1965 Battle of Ia Drang, the first time the U.S. Army fought a major battle against the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN), North Vietnam's regular forces. ...
Maj Richard Bong, U.S. Army Air Forces (1941–1945)
Richard Ira "Dick" Bong, was born September 24, 1920, in St. Mary's hospital in Superior, Wisconsin. He was the first of nine children born to Carl T. Bong and Dora Bryce Bong, living on a farm near the small town of Poplar, Wisconsin, about 20 miles southeast of Superior. Dick's father came to the United States from Sweden at the age of seven, and his mother was of Scots-English descent. Dick grew up on the family farm and attended the Poplar Grade School. Richard Bong then attended the...
Service Reflections of Cpl Barry McDown, U.S. Marine Corps (1969-1971)
Within 90 days after Richard Nixon was inaugurated, he sent me an excellent thank you note for being 19 and indicating that he would be pleased if I would show up for work. He very much insisted I report for the draft.
The Hauntings of Okinawa
There are many historical military places where you can experience ghostly specters, cold spells, and reports of things moving around all by themselves. Ghostly cavalry forces still protect F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming. Houses on Fort Leavenworth feature terrifying child ghosts. Baltimore's Fort McHenry is a veritable who's who of the afterlife, with reports of people seeing Abraham Lincoln, Edgar Allen Poe, and even Chief Black Hawk. Nowhere in the U.S. military, however, is more...
Service Reflections of SSgt Rob Matlock, U.S. Air Force (1979-1999)
My father was in Korea, and he regretted not reenlisting and making the USAF a career. He told us stories of his time in the Air Force with such enthusiasm that I wanted to experience what he described. My uncle on my mom’s side learned to fly helicopters in the AF and talked to me about the training that I could receive in the military and how it could help me get a job if I got out. My girlfriend and I talked to an AF Guard recruiter, and I joined ANG at 17 1/2. I went to Basic, and she decided she did not want to go. She married someone else while I was in photographer training.
Service Reflections of Maj James Webber, U.S. Air Force (1972-1992)
Interestingly, back in August of 1968, when I first walked around the sign-up tables in the Washburn University gym, I decided on a whim to join the Air Force ROTC unit. The sales pitch was it was really easy for the first two years, plus you could take military science classes (which were espoused to be easier than most). It sounded good to this Kansas country boy who was just trying to stay out of the draft. I never dreamed that quick decisions would turn into a wonderful and rewarding career! That one decision formed and still rewards my life to this day!
Service Reflections of CMSGT Daniel Diveney, U.S. Air Force (1954-1974)
I became interested in aircraft at a very early age because of my dad’s interest and influence. He worked for the American Petroleum Company in Waterloo, Iowa, which contracted to provide aviation gas at the Waterloo, Iowa airport. He also smoked Wings cigarettes, which had a collector card of an airplane with every pack. My older brother and I would quiz each other on aircraft identification while viewing these cards.
Service Reflections of ET2 Alan Spielman, U.S. Coast Guard (1979-1988)
I was interested in electronics but found it difficult to work 8 hours, go to school 8 hours, and study at least 4 hours a day, and I burnt out. I researched all the services and found the Coast Guard electronic technicians trained on everything, and they only specialized between aircraft and all others.
So I joined to get electronics school where I could work on everything from small boats to large cutters, buoy tenders, ice breakers, Loran (long-range aids to navigation), lighthouses, shore stations, communication stations, and remote aids/high sites.
Vietnam War Veterans
Frequently Asked Questions about Vietnam War Veterans There are several misconceptions and assumptions about Vietnam War veterans. This collection of frequently asked questions may help to straighten out any confusion. How Many Vietnam War Veterans are Still Alive? A: In 2020, there are fewer than 850,000 veterans who served in Vietnam still alive. This is down from the 2.7 million service members who were on active duty in Vietnam. How Old are Vietnam War Veterans? A: In 2015, the US...
U.S. Military Rank Insignia
The U.S. Military Rank Insignia has a long and proud history. Many of the ranks adopted by the United States military at the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775 are still in use today. The early military took a lot of inspiration from the British and French forces. Over time, the military rank insignia has come to represent American valor. These emblems, worn on the uniform to denote rank, help people identify military personnel’s rank and pay-grade at a glance. Evolution of U.S. Military...