The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

Service Reflections of YN1y Gary Haythorn, U.S. Coast Guard (1966-1970)

Service Reflections of YN1y Gary Haythorn, U.S. Coast Guard (1966-1970)

I was 18, having just finished a semester of junior college, and just had no clue where I wanted to go in life. My girlfriend broke up with me, so I thought I would join the Marines. But my cousin, who was already a USMC Captain, aviator, and Vietnam veteran, talked to me. He said, “If you join the Marine Corps, I’ll kick your a@#.” Then he laughed and said, “Look, you’d be a fine Marine, but join the Coast Guard or Air Force. They treat their people better.” Having grown up in Florida, being around water and boats all my life, I went to the CG recruiting office in Orlando, FL, where SS1 Gravett signed me up.

PS That girl that broke up with me married me four years later. We’ve been married for over 40 years now. Blessed.

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VA Updates: What If My Veteran Dies?

VA Updates: What If My Veteran Dies?

End-of-life planning is uncomfortable, which is why so many people avoid it. I know this from personal experience. What Happens When My Veteran Dies My father was a wonderful man – a career Army Officer and patriot, a loving husband, and a strong and tough mentor to four children. He was also a lifelong cigarette smoker. So we were not surprised when they discovered he had lung cancer. During his final two years, he put off all efforts to address issues that required he acknowledged he...

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Service Reflections of CAPT Bruce Lake, U.S. Marine Corps (1965-1970)

Service Reflections of CAPT Bruce Lake, U.S. Marine Corps (1965-1970)

PRESERVING A MILITARY LEGACY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS The following Reflections represents CAPT Bruce Lake's legacy of his military service from 1965 to 1970. 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 LTCOL William Dolley, U.S. Marine Corps (1981-2005)

Service Reflections of LTCOL William Dolley, U.S. Marine Corps (1981-2005)

PRESERVING A MILITARY LEGACY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS The following Reflections represents LTCOL William Dolley's legacy of his military service from 1981 to 2005. 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...

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Service Reflections of TSgt Marion Cochran, Jr., U.S. Air Force (1970-1981)

Service Reflections of TSgt Marion Cochran, Jr., U.S. Air Force (1970-1981)

I was graduating from high school in 1968, and the conflict in Vietnam was going on. I had a fairly low number in the lottery and knew I would get drafted. I didn’t want to go to Vietnam, so I picked the Air Force instead of the Army and began talking to an Air Force recruiter. My Dad was an MP in the Army in WW2, and I thought I’d like to get into the Security Police field. Every time the recruiter would get a slot, I’d put him off because I was working my 1st job out of high school and was enjoying it. Then one day, while I was at work, my Brother, who is 10 years younger than me, called and said I had a letter. I asked what it said, and he started out, stumbling over a couple of words since he was learning to read, “Greetings, you are hereby ordered…” I said that’s enough. I told my boss I had to get off. Drove up to the Air Force recruiter’s office and said, ” Please, please, get me in.” I joined the AF 2 days before I was supposed to go into the Army.

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Service Reflections of SSG Trey W. Franklin, U.S. Army (1988-2008)

Service Reflections of SSG Trey W. Franklin, U.S. Army (1988-2008)

My family has a long tradition of military service. My Father most heavily influenced me, and most of my memories of him are of him going to or coming home from drill with the TXARNG on the weekends.

My grandfathers were also in the Army, as were some of my extended family. My mother’s dad served during WWI and had to fight the system to go back on active duty in WWII. He won that fight, but they wouldn’t let him deploy overseas because of his age, so he stayed in the states as a counter-intelligence officer and was probably one of the oldest Majors on active duty.

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Service Reflections of SMSgt George H. Schryer, U.S. Air Force (1957-1981)

Service Reflections of SMSgt George H. Schryer, U.S. Air Force (1957-1981)

I joined the Navy Reserve while still a junior in high school and four other fools because we thought it was a good way to make easy money. I never intended to make it a career. I left active duty and returned to Reserve status because there were no promotion possibilities in my desired career field, which was the Gunnery field. That had been my primary duty aboard the ship for two years, and I enjoyed working on the big guns.

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Service Reflections of ETCM Gene Treants, U.S. Navy (1966-1996)

Service Reflections of ETCM Gene Treants, U.S. Navy (1966-1996)

It was the summer of 1966, and I was between my Sophomore and Junior years at College. I knew I might be in trouble with my deferment since I majored in beer and girls with a minor in partying. One of my best friends had decided to go into the Navy but had not yet joined. He worked on a survey crew, and I worked construction with my dad’s company. I was doing everything from electrical work, plumbing, carpentry, swimming pools, and you name it, but the work was never-ending. The days began at about 0700 on the job site and ended at too damn late.
One particularly hot and miserable day, after I had worked in an attic, removing insulation from a fire area, I had just about had it. My dad had left about noon for some meeting and left me in charge, and we had lots of work to finish. We finally completed the job at 6:30 pm, cleaned up, and left. When I got home, my dad was pissed it had taken so long and told me that I was not doing a good enough job. I told him if he spent time on the job instead of going off and doing other things, maybe we could have finished on time. Of course, he was not happy with my answer and told me that I was not working hard enough. I said that was fine and that I was done. I quit. The next day he asked me why I was not dressed, and I said I had quit since I was not a good enough worker. He left in a huff, and that was all it took.

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