The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

Service Reflections of SSGT Robert Floyd Jones, U.S. Air Force (1966-1976)

Service Reflections of SSGT Robert Floyd Jones, U.S. Air Force (1966-1976)

After one semester in our local “community college” (Edison Junior College), my grades were below the minimum to avoid the draft. Shortly after that, I received a draft notice. Having had relatives in the military, I was resigned to the fact I would have to serve, and I wanted to select a “specialty” that would help me after I had served my country. There was nothing in the Army I wanted to pursue, and I visited my Air Force Recruiter for his input.

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

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

What was your favorite piece of military equipment – firearm, apparel, vehicle, aircraft, boat, etc. – and why? What was your least favorite?:

The Mighty Woobie and the faded ACU

The mighty poncho liner or “woobie” as we called it has always been my most favorite piece of military equipment. It kept me warm in the field during patrol base operations, during deployments and even when lounging at the house. I always kept it towards the top of my rucksack, in my wet weather bag just under my spare socks, t-shirt and boots for easy access. I remember using it all the time even in warmer temperatures and often rolled it into a small burrito to function as a surprisingly decent pillow. It provided comfort in austere environments, and I believe I shared in this perception amongst my peers and leaders alike. Now that I reflect on it, there were many times a group of my peers would be huddled with woobies wrapped around our shoulders like cloaks, smoking and joking around the burn pit between missions in Iraq. We considered ourselves professional homeless bums, but we did so in a uniformed manner which always was our stance when criticized by my leadership. I still use my woobie to this day and have been for the past 22 years or so. I also enjoyed my field jacket liner as well; it was a defeated feeling I had turning that in, as well as the rest of my equipment to CIF as I was wrapping up my Army career to a close. When I reflect on it, I had so much sentimental value attached to this gear as it all served its purpose and accompanied me with all my shared hardships.

On the reverse side considering when the Army transitioned from Desert Camouflage Uniform (DCU) to the Army Combat Uniform (ACU) in April of 2005. I was initially excited for a fresh new digital look but after acquiring my first pair I was so thrown off from its light color scheme. It appeared as if every bit of dirt and oil was attracted to the fabric. The uniform would fade significantly after several washes, turning an almost pinkish hue around the reinforced fabric at the elbows and knees. This ACU introduced the zipper which would break if not properly cared for and the Velcro added a whole new layer of accountability as Velcro became more and more unbound from the uniform with use/ washing. Nametapes and shoulder patches frequently went missing as they fell off when wearing the IBA or brushing shoulders against other soldiers. I remember seeing so many patches and nametapes in the Motor pool, Barracks and around the installation. There were even stressful and embarrassing moments associated with loose Velcro, I can recall going a whole day without a nametape until I realized it was missing as I was washing my hands in front of the mirror in the bathroom before the end of the day close-out formation. I can say that the introduction of his uniform was quite possibly one of my least favorite uniforms I have owned during my tenure in the Army on Active Duty.

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Service Reflections of MSG Edwin Holt, U.S. Army (1967-2008)

Service Reflections of MSG Edwin Holt, U.S. Army (1967-2008)

PRESERVING A MILITARY LEGACY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS The following Reflections represents MSG Edwin Holt's legacy of his military service from 1967 to 2008. If you are a Veteran, consider preserving a record of your own military service, including your memories and photographs, on Togetherweserved.com (TWS), the leading archive of living military history. The following Service Reflections is an easy-to-complete self-interview, located on your TWS Military Service Page, which enables you to...

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Service Reflections of LTC Richard Swier, U.S. Army (1967-1990)

Service Reflections of LTC Richard Swier, U.S. Army (1967-1990)

My father, Joseph Swier, who served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during WW II in the Pacific Theater, inspired me to join the United States Army.

My father was in the seminary to become a priest, but when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, he left the seminary to join the Army.

President John F. Kennedy, who served in the Pacific Theater, as did my father, also influenced me.

Both of these men and fellow veterans were and still are my heroes.

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Service Reflections of SGT Michael Fouts, U.S. Army (1972-1976)

Service Reflections of SGT Michael Fouts, U.S. Army (1972-1976)

PRESERVING A MILITARY LEGACY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS The following Reflections represents SGT Michael Fouts's legacy of his military service from 1972 to 1976. If you are a Veteran, consider preserving a record of your own military service, including your memories and photographs, on Togetherweserved.com (TWS), the leading archive of living military history. The following Service Reflections is an easy-to-complete self-interview, located on your TWS Military Service Page, which enables you to...

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Service Reflections of 1LT Jack Downing, U.S. Army (1968-1973)

Service Reflections of 1LT Jack Downing, U.S. Army (1968-1973)

PRESERVING A MILITARY LEGACY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS The following Reflections represents 1LT Jack Downing's legacy of his military service from 1968 to 1973. If you are a Veteran, consider preserving a record of your own military service, including your memories and photographs, on Togetherweserved.com (TWS), the leading archive of living military history. The following Service Reflections is an easy-to-complete self-interview, located on your TWS Military Service Page, which enables you to...

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Civil War – Sherman’s March to The Sea (1861-1865)

Civil War – Sherman’s March to The Sea (1861-1865)

The March to the Sea, the most destructive campaign against a civilian population during the Civil War (1861-65), began in Atlanta on November 15, 1864, and ended in Savannah on December 21, 1864. Union General William T. Sherman abandoned his supply line and marched across Georgia to the Atlantic Ocean to prove to the Confederate population that its government could not protect the people from invaders. He practiced psychological warfare; he believed that by marching an Army across the state...

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WW2 – Battle of Guadalcanal

WW2 – Battle of Guadalcanal

Though it probably didn't feel like it at the time, the Allies in the Pacific Theater of World War II were able to respond to the Japanese advances relatively quickly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor wasn't the only surprise target that day. The Imperial Japanese Navy also struck targets held by the Dutch and British and the American-held Philippines.  The Naval Campaign at Guadalcanal By August of 1942, just nine months after its coordinated surprise attacks across the...

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Sgt Allen James Lynch, U.S. Army (1964–1969)

Sgt Allen James Lynch, U.S. Army (1964–1969)

When Allen James Lynch Graduated from high school, he knew he would either have to go to a college or trade school or wait to get drafted. He decided to chart his own course and join the Army. He didn't want to wait for something to happen to him, so he made his way to a recruiter.  "I wasn't the hero you read about in books, you know," Allen said in a 2011 interview. "I was bullied a lot, pushed around in grade school, high school. I had a bad self-image. I had to test myself… I had to...

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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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Does the U.S. Military Really Use Saltpeter to Calm the Urges of Basic Trainees?

Does the U.S. Military Really Use Saltpeter to Calm the Urges of Basic Trainees?

This old legend might be the first military myth new recruits come across, and it might have been around for as long as saltpeter itself. Despite the combined efforts of science, health education, and common sense, somehow, the myth of the military adding saltpeter to the food or beverages in basic training still persists.  History with Using Nitrated Sodium Salts Why would the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, or Marine Corps do such a thing? The legend says they would add saltpeter to...

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