The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

The Hauntings of Okinawa

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...

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Was Mr. Rogers a Vietnam-Era Sniper?

Was Mr. Rogers a Vietnam-Era Sniper?

At some point in their military career, U.S. troops will likely hear the rumor that television's Mr. Rogers, host of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," was a death-dealing, hardcore Vietnam-era sniper in either the Army Special Forces, Navy SEALs, or the Marine Corps.  Fred Rogers and his past are just one more file to add to the mounting list of military myths and urban legends. It might be fun to think of a man as smart and wholesome as Fred Rogers picking off a North Vietnamese general or Viet...

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Service Reflections of SSGT Ken Christeson, U.S. Marine Corps (1971-1977)

Service Reflections of SSGT Ken Christeson, U.S. Marine Corps (1971-1977)

My dad and all of my uncles were veterans of WWII. My dad and some uncles served in the Pacific, while others served in Europe. I grew up watching the war programs on TV and playing combat with the kids in the neighborhood. I read Leon Uris’s book BATTLE CRY in high school, which started considering the Marine Corps.

After school, I had a part-time job and worked alongside a couple of active-duty Marines working off duty for extra spending money.

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Service Reflections of GySgt Dan Edick, U.S. Marine Corps (1978-2000)

Service Reflections of GySgt Dan Edick, U.S. Marine Corps (1978-2000)

I am a fraternal twin. I knew my parents couldn’t afford to send us both to college, and I personally didn’t want to go. I felt as though my whole life had been spent in school already, and I wanted to do something different.

My father and several uncles served in the military. Some of them retired from the service. I respected them for serving and decided that I wanted to serve my country. My original choice was the Army, so I set an appointment with the Recruiter while a sophomore in high school. They showed no interest in me because of my age, so I left. The following year, I tried again. I sat with the Army and Air Force Recruiter. The Army didn’t impress me as much as the Air Force. The A.F. Recruiter said I was still too young and to come back in another year.

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Vietnam War Veterans

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...

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Service Reflections of BM2 Wendell Affield, U.S. Navy (1965-1969)

Service Reflections of BM2 Wendell Affield, U.S. Navy (1965-1969)

I enlisted soon after I turned 17. When I was 12, my mother was committed to a mental hospital. By sixteen, I had been through five foster homes. Spring 1964, I left, rode the rails, and lived in hobo camps in the northwest. An excerpt from my Vietnam War memoir “MUDDY JUNGLE RIVERS.”

That autumn, I returned to high school and stared out the windows? Had I lost all interest? Chinese dynasties, algebra equations, disassembled big blocks, and dissected frogs had no chance against the open spaces and freedom I’d discovered the past summer.

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Gen Louis H. Wilson, U.S.Marine Corps (1941–1979) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Gen Louis H. Wilson, U.S.Marine Corps (1941–1979) – Medal of Honor Recipient

There have been a few Commandants who had been recipients of the Medal of Honor, but Louis H. Wilson was the last. And given that the entire ranks of the modern Marine Corps are currently devoid of any officers with the nation's highest military honor it could be quite some time before the world would ever see it again. His tenure as the nation's top Marine from 1975 to 1979 would be one of remarkable transitions. The World War II generation had all but faded out, and the Commandant who...

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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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U.S. Military Rank Insignia

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...

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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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