The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

2LT Jack “Jackie” Robinson, U.S. Army (1942-1944)

2LT Jack “Jackie” Robinson, U.S. Army (1942-1944)

Hall of Fame Major League Baseball Player, Social Reformer. Famed baseball player and civil rights advocate, Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to play in modern major league baseball. In 1942, Robinson was drafted and assigned to a segregated Army cavalry unit in Fort Riley, Kansas. Having the requisite qualifications, Robinson and several other black soldiers applied for admission to an Officer Candidate School (OCS) located at Fort Riley. Although the Army's initial July 1941...

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PVT Jimi Hendrix, U.S. Army (1961-1962)

PVT Jimi Hendrix, U.S. Army (1961-1962)

Jimi Hendrix was born in 1942 in Seattle while his father Al, drafted into the Army during World War II, was imprisoned in an Alabama stockade to prevent him from going AWOL for the birth of his son. Jimi’s parents were troubled by alcoholism and divorced when he was 9. Jimi was drawn to the guitar from a young age, but Al refused to buy him one. Jimi found a one-string ukelele in the trash that he taught himself to play by ear. He didn’t begin playing guitar until the age of 15, shortly after...

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A1C Morgan Freeman, U.S. Air Force (1955-1959)

A1C Morgan Freeman, U.S. Air Force (1955-1959)

For some reason, Morgan loved war films with airplanes; they filled him with special excitement. It was an attraction that continued through his teens and led to him joining the Air Force at 18. (All the Freeman boys, bar the youngest, became military men. When still a teenager, one brother drowned while serving with the Marine Corps at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina). Morgan spent a year and a half sitting behind a desk, increasingly disillusioned. Then came his turn to train as a pilot, his...

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